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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.

By Steve Yanda  |  February 15, 2009; 11:07 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Quick Hands And Sudden Shifts Lead Defensive Charge

Comments

You forgot a couple key stats for Allen. It should say:

Allen -- eight points on 3 of 9 shooting, 5 fouls, 1 obscene gesture caught on camera

Posted by: Lindemann777 | February 15, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Will Allen get suspended for the little gesture at the end of the game? It's kind of odd a college kid can do that and nothing happens but if an NFL or NBA player did it he woudl certainly be fined if not suspended for a game. With college players not getting paid they should make him do some sort of basketball community service. Maybe pick up all the trash in the stands his next two road games or something like that.

Posted by: Lee26 | February 15, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Well kids, hear (sic) is the reality of the situation: We lose at least 4 and perhaps ALL of our remaining regular season games.

Not even a sniff of the NCAA's.

Probably an NIT bid again.

Dreadful.

Posted by: petecard | February 15, 2009 9:54 AM

Pete, go find another team to root for. The Terps don't need whiny, unappreciative, morons who don't know what they don't know trashing the team they claim they love all over the blogs. Beat it nerd.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 15, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Nerds don't mix "hear" with "here". I think we have something worse than a nerd, a UVA fan...

Posted by: Lee26 | February 15, 2009 1:06 PM | Report abuse

allen could have easily picked up another couple fouls with the shaq-fu moves he used on milbourne. there was never that sense of panic that's set in when opposing teams have made a second half run. tech was handled all night, with the terps in control all the way.

this next stretch will be difficult, but the team's playing as well as they have all year. better to be up against the wall as a confident cohesive team instead of a bunch of guys hoping for a "save us, greivis" moment. vasquez has played two great games in a row, too - his shot selection has been much better instead of jacking up the first shot he sees. maybe he's finally figured out that sometimes it's better if the star player doesn't try *too* hard to "take over" the game. one can only hope.

why all the gloom and doom? they're a few made shots away from being 8-2 in conference (miami, fsu & bc were all very winnable close games) and gary would be nominated for sainthood. gary is proving yet again what a great coach he is, and you won't find a better fit for maryland. much as i liked steve francis, i love that our guys hang around long enough for us to see them improve.

Posted by: rm0659 | February 15, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Lee and Barnot,

I suppose both of you guys would rate yourselves the most knowledgeable fans this side of a turtle shell.

I'm sure you think the Terps have transformed themselves into an elite team, which will win their last 6 ACC games. You believe Duke, Clemson, and UNC have overrated talent led by overrated coaches. You're probably predicting a 10-6 record in the ACC. I'm sure you base your 10-6 prediction on the fact the Terps only lose to other teams when the ACC referees cheat against Gary Williams. You'd never admit that another team was superior.

You rate Greivis Vasquez superior to any Terps to don a uniform, including John Lucas and Len Bias. You probably loved Mike Mardesich and can't figure out why he's not a star in the NBA.

Illusion and delusion have become your reality. I still suggest you resume your mood stabilizers asap.

Meanwhile, I predict the team will finish 7-9 in the ACC, earning an NIT bid.

Now, who's crazy?

P.S. We can revisit this post at the end of the season to see which fan presented a more accurate assessment about this year's team.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | February 15, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, I predict the team will finish 7-9 in the ACC, earning an NIT bid.

Now, who's crazy?

P.S. We can revisit this post at the end of the season to see which fan presented a more accurate assessment about this year's team.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | February 15, 2009 4:24 PM

Keep telling yourself you are a Terps fan. Keeping saying it. If you repeat it often enough, maybe someone will believe you.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 16, 2009 7:32 AM | Report abuse

7-9 certainly isn't out of the question for this team. I would say 7-9 is the worst they could do. 8-8 and an ACC tourney win will have the Terps dancing. 9-7 and they are in period. So your prediction is one game off of what we are saying could happen. I guess that makes you crazy for not being able to subtract 7 from 8 come up with 1 and realize it isn't a large number.

Posted by: Lee26 | February 16, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

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