Terps Break Press, Own Momentum
Clemson is known as having one of the stingier defenses in the ACC and its press is vaunted as well. But last night Maryland had little trouble breaking it down and moving the ball past midcourt.
The problems began for the Terps seemingly after the hard part of the task was complete.
Little more than a minute into the second half, Greivis Vasquez made a nifty pass to a wide open Sean Mosley, who missed a lay-up and then fouled the Clemson defender who rebounded the ball. At that point, Maryland trailed by six.
Less than six minutes later, Cliff Tucker also missed an open lay-up attempt. At that point, Maryland trailed by 14.
Those are just two examples of Maryland's struggles to put the ball in the basket. There were plenty others, to be sure. But the missed lay-ups stood out to Gary Williams, who remarked how they helped negate Maryland's success at breaking down Clemson's press defense.
Williams also praised Clemson's ability to recover once their initial plan faltered.
"We press quite a bit, so in practice everyday we're going against the press against each other, so that's probably an advantage," Williams said. "But where Clemson was really good was when they got out of their press, when we broke it and didn't score, they were able to set up their drop-back defense and really take us out of our offense, which a lot of teams don't do. They have trouble matching up or whatever, but Clemson did a really good job in their transition out of their press tonight."
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