Shutting Down Tech's 'Big Three'
The defensive challenge facing the Terps entering yesterday's contest against Virginia Tech was both apparent and daunting -- they had to try to find a way to limit the effectiveness of the Hokies' top-scoring trio (A.D. Vassallo, Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen). Maryland could get away with allowing one of those three to rack up points, maybe even two, but if all three found their rhythm it was going to be a long night for the home squad.
Final stat numbers for VaTech's key performers:
- Vassallo -- 20 points on 6 of 13 shooting
- Delaney -- 16 points on 6 of 15 shooting
- Allen -- eight points on 3 of 9 shooting
By shutting down Allen, the Terps prevented a potentially disasterous defensive scenario. Two scorers they could handle; three might have been one too many.
Junior guard Eric Hayes said Maryland's game plan was for whichever player was guarding Dorenzo Hudson or Terrell Bell or Hank Thorns (whichever of those three were in the game at the time) to leave his man immediately as soon as Allen caught the ball in the post. The Terps wanted to double-team Allen as often and as fiercely as possible.
"In all their ACC games, their big three, 78 percent of their offense was coming from them," Hayes said. "We knew that we had to get (the ball) out of their hands and make other guys beat us."
Last night, Vassallo, Delaney and Allen tallied 60.3 percent of VaTech's offensive output, far below their average in conference play.
February 15, 2009; 11:07 AM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
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