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Three-point Ambitions

Charlotte sure wasn't shy out of the gates yesterday. The 49ers lofted up 14 shots from beyond the arc in the first half against the Terps. And they connected on seven of them. Their audacity was not surprising -- Charlotte attempted 28 three-pointers in its most recent outing prior to Saturday -- but their accuracy sure was.

In any event, Maryland -- much to the chagrin of its coach -- contracted Charlotte's thee-point shooting bug and fired 12 shots of its own from beyond the arc in the first half. Gary Williams implied afterward that his team devoted more attention in the game's early stages to connecting from long range than to playing lock-down defense along the perimeter at the other end of the court.

Fortunately for the Terps, their defensive focus and intensity soon returned, even though its tendency to fire away from beyond the arc never cooled. But that didn't end up being such a bad thing after all.

Maryland shot 40.9 percent (9-for-22) from three-point range on Saturday. Junior guard Greivis Vasquez went 4-for-11 from long range. Junior guard Eric Hayes made 2-of-4. Reserve guards Sean Mosley and Cliff Tucker combined to go 3-for-3.

"There's a lot of ways to play, and if that's our strength this year, that's okay; we'll shoot threes," Williams said. "But I think the key thing is, you have to put the threat into the other team that you can take the ball to the basket somehow, whether it's throwing the ball into the post or driving the ball into the lane.

"We want to be a well-rounded team. You don't want to just depend on threes as a way to score, so hopefully our defense will continue to break some things loose and we're able to run good enough offense where we can make shots besides threes."

By Steve Yanda  |  January 4, 2009; 4:16 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Williams Pines For Respect


Eric Hayes and Mosely do a few things to help the ball go in, such as square their shoulders and pay attention to the release. About half the time, Vasquez is so busy running around that he doesn't even look towards the basket until the ball is leaving his hand. Cliff Tucker -- well, he's had his struggles.

Used to be that city-bred players couldn't hit the 3 pointer because they'd spent their formative years trying to rip the chains off the bottom of the basket. That's changed a lot, for the better.

Do the Terps ever employ a shooting coach?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 4, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I loved this result:

BC 85
UNC 78

That thud you heard was UNC dropping out of the top 5! Overrated!! UNC has the worst McDonalds All American to National Championship ratio in D1. UNC will not only not win the National Championship, but will not win the ACC (how could they when they lose to the pre-season last place team at home!).

Go Blue Devils!

Posted by: sammo1 | January 4, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

sammo we love the effort but never ever write "Go Blue Devils!" even in jest on this blog....

Posted by: Lee26 | January 5, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

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