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Duke's Late Threes Doom Terps

With 5:22 remaining in last night's game, Duke swingman Gerald Henderson connected on his only made three-pointer of the night to break a 60-60 tie. Greivis Vasquez subbed in; Sean Mosley subbed out, and the Terps went back on offense.

But Maryland could not answer. Duke guard Elliot Williams stole the ball from Eric Hayes, and the Terps went back on defense. During a play stoppage, Mosley subbed in and Vasquez subbed out.

This was the dance those two played down the stretch. With four fouls, Vasquez was kept off the floor as much as possible while the Terps were on defense, the rationale being that it would limit the number of opportunities for Vasquez to commit his fifth and final foul.

But having to take Vasquez out forced Maryland to make some defensive shifts, which may have contributed to the quality looks the Blue Devils got from beyond the arc in the final minutes.

With 4:32 to play, Kyle Singler connected from beyond the arc, pushing the lead to six. It was then, Gary Williams thought, that Duke finally established a cushion.

"Duke is really hard because every play, it's a struggle," he said. "They have a great defense; it's a struggle to score, at least for us it was tonight. But at the same time, our defense kept us in there and we had chances. They hit two big threes when they had to to stretch it to six, and we didn't score and I thought that was the key turnaround in the game."

Maryland would cut the lead to four on a layup by Adrian Bowie with 3:55 remaining, but that was as close as the Terps would come.

Duke's lead grew slowly, but by the time Jon Scheyer nailed a three-pointer with 1:54 left on the clock, Maryland's deficit had climbed to nine and much of the life had been sucked out of a once-raucous Comcast Center crowd.

By Steve Yanda  |  February 26, 2009; 7:33 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Milbourne Demonstrates Continued Development


Struggle to score? Not for Milbourne, dude deserved more touches...

Posted by: Lee26 | February 26, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

You can't spell Terrapin without N, I and T.

Posted by: miken1984 | February 26, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

I thought the game was at comcast. Duke can thank the refs for that one. Grevis had the weakest calls ever on him. Also greivis, milborne, and mosley foul out. It's unbelievable what college bball does for Duke.

Posted by: beas13 | February 26, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Please, please, please let us get another shot at them in the ACC Tournament... PLEASE!

Gotta win two of last 3 down the stretch....

Posted by: putnam23 | February 26, 2009 10:17 AM | Report abuse

You can't spell Terrapin without N, I and T.

Posted by: miken1984 | February 26, 2009 9:44 AM

The newest edition to the Hall of Shame. Thanks Miken.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 26, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

You tell 'em Putnam.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 26, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

The officiating in this game reminded me of the 2001 final 4. I'd love if terps get a chance to knock off Duke in the tourney, but I really cant take watching Duke's offense of giving the ball to Gerald Henderson on the left wing, drive right to the free throw line, push off the defender with an extended left arm and either a. go up for a jumper, or b. get a foul called on the defender due to said contact with the duke star's extended left arm. No way do any of Vasquez's 3 2nd half fouls get called if he's in blue and white. Forget about the phantom flop charge for the 5th...the 4th put me through the roof. Swiping the clueless Zubek from behind???

Posted by: asnis715 | February 26, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Weird title! "Doom," you're kidding with that one, right? Maryland plays two stellar games against two teams who have been ranked in the top five all year, both storied rivals, beats one and plays the other to a virtual standstill, and the word "doom" is used.

What, someone dropped a nuclear bomb on College Park last night we didn't hear about. A couple of kids made a couple of threes that kept the Maryland kids from pulling off what every sports fans knows would have been the story of the year, hell, the story of the last 10 years, in ACC basketball, and you use the term "doom" in the title to your article.

They pay you to do this? Really? America, is this a great country or what!

Look, this Maryland team, with no true big, much less a center, is competing against the best of the best, because every guy on this team, all of whom can really play, make eachother better and then better still. They put it together as few teams ever have, making the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

Everybody says, including me, that Maryland does not have a true center, only someone forgot to tell the Maryland kids that. See, David Neal, who competed and starred among the best of the best since his days in the area's fabled Catholic league, forgot for a second that labels don't play, players do, and he and his teammates played inside against Duke and Carolina like they belonged, because they did, and they belonged because their teammates trusted and counted on them, stood by and with them.

My hope is that these guys remember forever what the great game can be when it is played at the highest levels of a TEAM concept. I don't pretend to understand the Xs and Os that the modern game comprises and frankly, beyond someone someday, somebody like Gary or JTIII sitting down and chatting about what their offenses comprise, I ain't interested.

I am always interested in seeing a team take the floor and forge relationships of trust and play effectively as a unit. This Maryland team has done that in stellar fashion in back-to-back games that gave them the chance to make history, and, hey, they almost did. Anyway sees "doom" in any of that they need to get themselves some glasses or try a different business.

Posted by: cohenra | February 26, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

What kills me about Duke is they get away with so much hand checking.

It's hard to get a blow by drive to the hoop because they are allowed to slow you down by using their hands. And if by some miracle one does get by the defender, Duke ends up getting the flop charge call.

If the Terps play with the same kind of energy for the next 3 games that they have showed in the last 2. I think they will win 2 out of 3 and will get in the Tourny.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 26, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, because it was the ref's fault...

Posted by: peterandmeredith | February 26, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

forget the refs. subbing out GV on defense was a mistake because his single biggest threat is running the break after a defensive rebound. Cant do that if he's not in the game. Once gary gave up on the transition, terps were done fer.

Posted by: Effyeahterps | February 26, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

You can't spell Terrapin without N, I and T.

Posted by: miken1984 | February 26, 2009 9:44 AM

Spoken like an ungrateful, bandwagon fan who, shocker, wasn't born til 1984. What's your first Terps memory Miken? Our first Sweet 16?

Posted by: fushezzi | February 26, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

There is so much hate on this blog!

The word "doom," to describe defeat is not out of order. It was simply used to describe what was the result: a loss. What a ridiculous over reaction. Steve didn't say that the season was doomed.

Miken is entitled to his opinion about the prospects for the Terps making the NCAA Tournanment. It is easy to be frustrated with the thought that we might not make it for the 4th time in 5 years!

While we can still hope, mediocrity should be unacceptable to all Terp fans. Let's say we get in as a 10-12 seed. Does that make this an acceptable season. Would it be a good season? When are we going to have a program, again, that consistently gets to the tournament, regularly wins a couple of games and more often than most gets to the Elite Eight? If we do that we will have our chances is the Final Four and at another championship. Why is that not the program we should have?

Posted by: petecard | February 26, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

petecard: who said anything about mediocrity? I'm proud of the way the Terps have played these last two games. They took out the #3 team in the nation and almost beat #7. Had we made those free throws and not been call on some of the silly fouls, the outcome would have been totally different, and we would be guaranteed to have a spot in the dance.

As it stands, we'll have to win the next three to get to that 9-7 mark in the ACC, which would be the clincher for the tourney. If that doesn't happen, than hopefully they'll win 2 out of 3 and win a game or two in the ACC Tournament. Not bad for a team that was 2-5 a few weeks ago with people screaming on this blog for Gary's head.

Posted by: ecglotfelty | February 26, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Doom was inappropriate on a number of levels, not the least of which is the context in which this article is written--that is, some Post writers calling into question whether Gary should continue to be Maryland's coach.

Gary has these kids playing together, trusting one another, in a way that does the game proud. He did that in the context of K's having run up the score against Maryland when the teams played in Durham and Gary's kids were clearly off their game.

They were not off their game last night, not by a long shot. In fact, to use a metaphor, that stood up and socked K's kid square in the jaw, and came within a minute of pulling off the most remarkable week in ACC basketball, at least in my memory and that goes back to when the Lefthander first arrived. Doom was an inappropriate term, and the author deserves to be called on it.

Maryland's performance last night was out of sight, and using "doom" in that headline obscures that reality. Doom did not describe the "defeat," if there was one. Personally, I saw one team win, with more than a little bit of luck having been outplayed by a so-called lesser team, I didn't see any team lose, and certainly not get "defeated."

This dude pete ain't expressing no disappointment in Maryland's performance, he is expressing disappointment in Maryland's coach. But, in putting the issue in terms of whether a team is chosen by a bunch of fat old men to be among the group of 65 that gets to play in March madness is, in my opinion, thoughtless. At least, it gives no appreciation of the quality of play that Maryland has exhibited, and fails to take into account that the tournament field has been extended to be virtually meaningless.

Half the teams get to play a single game; can anyone say that there aren't another 20 or so teams that could not beat straight up any of those 30 odd teams who will lose that first game? Please.

If you can't be proud of the stones it took to go up against a team that pounded you by 40, that ran up the score against you in one of the most hostile atmospheres that college sports are played, and came back and gave that team all that they could handle and then some, you ought to keep it to yourself. It's insulting to the kids who play for Maryland, and to the intelligence of anyone familiar with the best that college sports has to offer, in my opinion.

My Headline: Maryland Takes a Stand and Shows Duke Whom It Can Push Around and Whom it Can't

Posted by: cohenra | February 26, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Cohenra just got inducted into the Terrapin Insider Hall of FAME.

Great post.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 26, 2009 10:21 PM | Report abuse

cohenra: "If you can't be proud of the stones it took to go up against a team that pounded you by 40, that ran up the score against you in one of the most hostile atmospheres that college sports are played, and came back and gave that team all that they could handle and then some, you ought to keep it to yourself."

I think all the fans were proud of the Terps. I imagine that includes Pete.

But I don't think the Maryland fans take a back seat to the Cameron Crazies when it comes to sheer hostility towards the opponent. The Dukies seemed a little awed by it all.

Gary coached a good game. He's had something of a history of success against more talented teams. Usually the Terps manage to frustrate their opponent and get them out of their rhythm. That's what I saw that night. A Duke squad that was having trouble getting into its preferred rhythm. Still, you have to give them some credit for hitting the big shots when they needed to.

From a fan's perspective, the thing I found most disappointing was the Terps' free throw shooting. But that happens sometimes, even at home.

But I guess you could describe me as a basketball fan, not only a Maryland fan, and Mike K's teams play some of the best, most elegant basketball in the college ranks. They set a lot better example for young players than a team like Memphis does. And should be praised for it.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 27, 2009 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Cohenra and Barno, both to be inducted into the "Koolaid Drinkers Hall of Medicrity Bliss"

Now they are dissing the committee, mis-characterizing it's make-up and explaining why just making the tournanment, or even not making it and trying hard is what we are all about.

Our program is DOOMED with fans like these making excuses for why we are not among the elite in college basketball.

Posted by: petecard | February 27, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Koolaid Drinkers Hall of Mediocrity Bliss:


Posted by: petecard | February 27, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

" ought to keep it to yourself."

Why? It's a free country. It's a blog sponsored by a national newspaper on that last bastion of free speech, the Internet.

Grounds for objecting to something said in a post:
1) It's verbally abusive, employs cursing, or uses foul language.
2) It's off-topic (like say, long discussions of the recent Presidential election, or the Israel-Palestinian situation).
3) It's designed to intimidate other posters from expressing their own free opinions on the subject.

I'm not seeing that here. Just plain old-fashioned disagreement about a basketball team.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 27, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Just for the record, I am not a Maryland fan any more than i am a Duke fan, anymore than I am a Geogetown fan. In fact, I have been a fan of Ks for many years, and follow Duke at least as much as the other two.

This year Duke's play has been anything but elegant. Last year K was quit inventive and relied on dribble penetration from the wings to the foul line, with the choice of a pull up, a kick for a three, or an attack at the rim, to creat the inside-out game that is essential for effective offensive play.

Very elegant, innovative, and entertaining, until the heavies in the ACC, Miami, Clemson, NCST knocked the snot out of the one inside player K had (Singler) and took away the wing penetration by bellying the wings out and then, if that failed, doubling with a big instead of one of the outside players.

This year K came out with a far different system that had as a key ingredient utilizing at least to some extent pass penetration to attack the rim and create inside out play. The team, the littles that is, never bought into it.

Zoubek, who showed promise, preferred to catch on the move, standing tall; the littles insisted he play like the landlord or Boozer or Brand and seal. That is not his game, he was not effective off such catches, and has lost all confidence.

Thomas has shown the ability to score the ball inside but if he makes a few miscues he does not see it again. In fact, even when he does not, he rarely sees the ball. He went 5 for 5 the first half against Wake, had their center in foul trouble, and got one more chance the entire game.

Now, Duke does appear elegant in recent times but that is because they have given up on inside-out play. They utilize McClure as a nominal 5 or Thomas in that same roll--that is, both rarely touch the ball, except on the exterior and only as a stop gap. That play is elegant, but does not provide the type of inside-out play that K was after when the season began and I think is necessary for Duke to make a decent run.

Duke fans, I follow closely on line, blame Zoubek and Thomas for a lack of an inside game. I think that the fault lies elsewhere.

Posted by: cohenra | February 27, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

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