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Midseason Evaluations

The Terps have reached the midway point of ACC play, and right now they stand 3-5, good for ninth place. Since we've got a few extra days before Maryland travels to play at Georgia Tech on Sunday, I thought it'd be interesting to gage how you all feel the different components of the team have performed thus far this season. So over the next two days, I'll be posting a series of polls that will examine how the fans feel about, say, the job the team's guards have done, or who's performed the best out of all the forwards.

In addition to voting in the polls, I encourage all of you to provide reasons for your thoughts in the comments section. If any of you would rather shoot me your thoughts in an email (yandas@washpost.com) that's perfectly fine, as well.

To get our feet wet, let's start off with the play of the team's bench so far this year. The reserve unit was expected to underline the team's depth at the guard positions and help plug some of the holes in the frontcourt. Since the start of ACC play, freshman guard Sean Mosley played his way into the starting lineup, so he no longer applies to this category. Junior Eric Hayes seems to have adapted just fine to his bench role over the past two games. Gary Williams said he made the switch "to give Eric a different look" and perhaps it has done just that. Hayes is averaging 9.2 points, 3.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Cliff Tucker had a breakout performance Tuesday night at North Carolina, three days after not playing at all at home against Miami and then voicing his frustrations over his lack of court time to a few reporters. He is averaging 4.5 points per game and is shooting 43.5 percent from the field.

Sophomore forward Dino Gregory has established himself as a high-energy option off the bench for Maryland's frontcourt. He makes the Terps lineup more athletic when he enters games and gives the team a bit more of a traditional post presence. He is tied for the team lead with 24 blocks and is averaging 3.0 rebounds per game. Freshman forward Jin Soo Kim has developed into a fan favorite while averaging just 7.1 minutes per game. He hasn't shot the ball well (29.7 percent) or scored (1.8 ppg) or rebounded (1.4 rpg) with much proficiency, but it's obvious that the guy plays as hard as he possibly can whenever he's out on the court.

Sophomore forward Braxton Dupree is averaging 2.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Sophomore forward Jerome Burney is still trying to work his way back into the rotation after missing over a month with a stress fracture in his foot. Freshman forward Steve Goins and sophomore forward David Pearman have played a combined 24 minutes this season.

Without further delay, let's get scientific ...

By Steve Yanda  |  February 5, 2009; 7:56 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Midseason Evals: The Frontcourt

Comments

The big man situation has been the greatest issue with the bench. We can't expect any of our big men to win a sixth man award. But if Dino and Braxton can consistently (that's the key word here) play up to their capability, we'd be much better off. All we're looking for is someone to take up space and be in the right place at the right time.

Steve - Any word on how Burney is progressing? Can we expect to see him in a game any time soon?

Posted by: ICBomber | February 5, 2009 8:08 AM | Report abuse

ICBomber,

We won't be able to talk to Gary again until Friday or Saturday, but I'll be sure to inquire about Burney then and report back to you all.

Posted by: Steve Yanda | February 5, 2009 8:22 AM | Report abuse

I'd have to say I've been most disappointed in Burney, but it's not really his fault because of his injury. At the end of last season, he showed some flashes of competitence that the Terps could use. I really don't understand Gary's philosophy about using the bench, because he's done this in the past. Perhaps it has to do with performance in practice that is rarely reported along with performance in games, which can be difficult if Gary only gives you a minute or two at a time. The Terps played some of their best basketball against UNC when Hayes and Vasquez were either on the bench or not handling the ball.

Dupree is clearly the most disappointing player on this team right now because of his inability to catch and rebound the ball in tight quarters. He has some pretty decent post moves, but he seems too interested in making moves than actually getting the ball and taking a good shot. Dave Dickerson would have had this guy playing a lot tougher by now, or at the very least would have talked him into transfering (see Danny Miller). I LOVE Keith Booth, but he's focusing too much on the specifics, not court awareness and positioning, and it shows in the development of our post players over the years.

If Tucker can continue to provide good minutes off the bench, perhaps that can give Vasquez the rest he needs to have some legs left in his jump shot near the ends of games (something that haunted us on the road against BOTH Florida teams).

Posted by: Russtinator | February 5, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

While I chose Dupree as my most disappointing, Hayes would be a close second. He doesn't have a good shot and seems intimidated everytime he handles the ball.

Gregory will improve, as will Burney and Kim.

Posted by: ecglotfelty | February 5, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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