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Terps Defeat Jackets In First Road Win, 57-56

It wasn't pretty by any means, but that has somewhat become Maryland's calling card, no? The Terrapins overcame the absence of sophomore guard Adrian Bowie, who was out with the flu, to defeat Georgia Tech and earn their first true road win of the season.

"We didn’t convert everything that I thought we could have," Gary Williams said, "but it was enough."

Three Up:

1) Eric Hayes. This guy sure takes a lot of heat, so it was good to see him perform well and play a major role in contributing to a victory. He has made many poor passes and bad decisions with the ball this season, sure. In fact, he did so several times tonight. But the guy's got a pretty nice shot when it's clicking, and he showed an ability to drive the ball that hadn't been present for much of this season. Hayes showed some major strides on offense tonight. He finished with 15 points, five rebounds and three steals. He also had six turnovers.

2) Greivis Vasquez. The Terrapins needed someone to rely upon to shoulder the scoring load in the second half, and Vasquez answered. For weeks, Vasquez has talked about needing to get his swagger back, and he might just have done it tonight. His shooting (6 for 13 from the field) was not outstanding, but his ability to score when Maryland most needed a basket returned. He finished with 19 points, 14 of which came after halftime.

3) Defense. The Yellow Jackets exposed holes in Maryland's 3-2 zone look early in the game, but Maryland adjusted and proved stingy down the stretch. Georgia Tech shot 40.4 percent from the field and gave up 24 turnovers. Reluctant to go inside, where they had a clear size advantage over the Terps, the Yellow Jackets shot 20.0 percent from three-ooint range in the second half.

Three Down:

1) Adrian Bowie. He's on this list for reasons completely out of his control. He had trouble sleeping Saturday night and woke up with a 102-degree fever. Williams said Bowie had flu-like symptoms, which limited the sophomore guard to playing just one minute against the Yellow Jackets.

"We need him, and hopefully he’ll be back by Saturday," Williams said, referrencing Maryland's Valentine's Day match-up against Virginia Tech.

2) Landon Milbourne. The junior forward quietly has worked his way into an offensive funk. He tallied three points on 1 of 5 shooting tonight, though he did pull down six rebounds. The Terps have asked a lot of Milbourne this season, and perhaps all the wear and tear of banging around in the post against much bigger opponents has finally begun to take its tole.

3) Turnovers. This was a sloppy, sloppy game from a ball-handling perspective. Maryland tallied 16 turnovers, and many of them were the result of plain carelessness. Georgia Tech's defense is okay, but far from stifling. Hayes led the Terps with six turnovers (this likely is one of the reasons most people have issues with him), but the mental miscues spread around fairly evenly.

By Steve Yanda  |  February 8, 2009; 11:04 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Hayes hit some key buckets but he also had 6 turnovers.

Posted by: jathfort | February 9, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Hayes had a nice all around game last night despite the six turnovers. I disagree with your point that he has made many bad decisions and turnovers this year. After last night's game, he has 75 assists to 43 turnovers. That ratio is significantly better than either Bowie and Mosley. I also note that when he plays well in conference games, the Terps often win.

Posted by: gw67 | February 9, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

"when he plays well in conference games, the Terps often win." So he has contributed to what? One conference win maybe? If he's going to turn the ball over 6 times and miss free throws there is a lovely seat on the bench next to Chuck Dreisel waiting for him.

Posted by: Lee26 | February 9, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Eric Hayes unfairly receives the brunt of the fans' displeasure, but his stat profile surpasses Vazquez in almost every category (Assist to Turnover, 3-Pt shooting Pct, etc).

I'm also glad to see Tucker in the lineup more often. GW relegated him to the pine for some mysterious reason.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | February 9, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

The next two games will probably reveal all you need to know about this team. If the Terps can beat VT and Clemson, they become relevant in the ACC again.

Otherwise, it's NIT or bust.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | February 9, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I like Hayes, Bowie and Mosley. Each is a complementary player and Williams does a decent job spreading the playing time among them. IMO, Hayes has been a major contributor in three conference wins below as well as the wins against Mich State and Michigan..
Ga Tech (17 pts, 2 assist, 2 steals)
Virginia (10 pts, 11 assists, 0 TO, 3 steals)
Ga Tech (15 pts, 5 rbs, 3 steals)

Posted by: gw67 | February 9, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Good try imterpsfan2. Vasquez actually leads Hayes in every single statistic outside of shooting percentage (by .4%) and three point percentage (by 4.7%). Hayes receives criticism because he has had 5 decent games out of 20. He seems like a nice kid and I wish him the best but his game has gotten worse each year he has been at MD. It's kind of sad honestly.

Posted by: Lee26 | February 9, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Lee if you watched the game last night you'd be able to tell that Hayes really managed it well. At least two of those turnovers I'd put on Vasquez's hands instead of his. The bricking of free throws was unacceptable but Hayes ran the game the entire night and did it well.

The real disappointment was Mosely who went scoreless. He was a complete non factor last night.

Posted by: JDP_ | February 9, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I watched the game. The kid isn't steady with the ball, throws it away too much, backs up when pressured too much, is a step slow on D (how many threes get drained in his face per game as he is slow getting back off a double team? 3? 4?) and has been steadily getting worse from the line. He played better last night. But if 15 points, 5 boards, 2 assists, and 6 TOs is your "good" game you aren't all that good.

And it was a shame Mosely couldn't find the hoop last night but he still played good D, made a steal or two, and hit the boards hard so I'll take it. The kid has an extremely well rounded game for a Freshman.

Posted by: Lee26 | February 9, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

After last night's game, this is the stat line for both players.

Hayes has the edge in FG% (.387 - .383), leads in 3P FG%(.347 - .300). Vasquez leads slightly in Assist/Turnover (1.8/1.1 - 1.7/1.1) and in Steals (1.4 - 1.3).

So we can safely say their stats are essentially even.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | February 9, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Neither one of these guys will be playing in the NBA, although I could see Vasquez playing in Europe.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | February 9, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Dude you are killing me. So the number of assists, points, rebounds, and blocks are stats that don't matter at all? I get it you like Hayes better as a person. Fine. But as a basketball player it's like comparing Len Bias to Kenny Walker.

Posted by: Lee26 | February 10, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

You're making Vasquez into a superstar. He wouldn't start for any top 25 team and has about a 10% chance of making an NBA roster.

My point is that both are very mediocre players, and for the most part, the stats bear that out.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | February 10, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

This has nothing to do with the quality of their character.

Comparing Vasquez with Bias is a bit delusional don't you think?

Vasquez scores a lot because he selfishly takes 15-20 shots a game. He's lucky to make 40% of those shots. I never said Hayes was great. I'm merely intimating that both are very mediocre.

Posted by: imterpsfan2 | February 10, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't comparing Vasquez to Bias (or Hayes to Kenny "Sky" Walker for that matter). The list of players I would compare to Bias goes like this. _______ and _______. Nobody. But Vasquez certainly would start for just about every top 25 team. You act like 16 6 and 5 is some garbage line. I bet there are maybe 10-20 players in college basketball getting the 6 and 5 a game and that has nothing to do with scoring points or taking shots. But no I'm sure you're right. That is totally interchangable with a guy that gives you the same percentages but to the tune of 9 3 and 3...

Posted by: Lee26 | February 11, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

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