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Terps In Search Of Better Mental Approach

Prior to Saturday's game against North Carolina, senior forward Dave Neal relayed something Gary Williams had told the Terps during practice that week: "We are one of the luckiest teams in the country," Neal said.

The reason, presumably, was that Maryland has in front of it several remaining opportunities to prove themselves in the eyes of the NCAA selection committee. The Terps already made a mark Saturday by defeating the Tar Heels. Tonight, they host No. 7 Duke. Next Tuesday, they host No. 13 Wake Forest.

"It's not a regular game, but it's a game that will help us to be in a better position in terms of the tournament, getting into the tournament," junior guard Greivis Vasquez said yesterday about tonight's matchup against the Blue Devils. "Obviously, we got to payback and let them know that we played a horrible game when we played them at their place."

Williams and the Terps have tried hard to forget the last time these two teams met. Duke smothered Maryland from the opening tip and came away with a 41-point victory.

But given the chance to play a team a second time this season, Maryland has demonstrated marked improvements. After blowing a sizable second-half lead and losing at Miami, the Terps responded with a win over the Hurricanes at Comcast Center. After giving up 108 points in a loss at North Carolina, the Terps got a crucial win at home over the Tar Heels a few weeks later.

Yesterday, Williams was asked what, specifically, Maryland needed to do to show the same improvement during round two against Duke.

"Specifically, I'm not getting into any specifics," he said. "I think we have a mental approach to this game where we feel we can be very competitive and I think that's the key going out there, and in terms of what offenses or defenses you use, you know, that's something that we do as a team and that's not for anybody else. But just the mental approach, we have to be a lot stronger than we were in the first game."

By Steve Yanda  |  February 25, 2009; 2:50 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Terps Fall to Duke, 78-67

Comments

Duke and Uva students and alumni don't even notice UMd....not even on the radar. College Park...bleck!
Sorry : )

Posted by: dbunkr | February 25, 2009 1:33 PM

Maybe. But you'll always be a nerd.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 25, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Maximum team defense and 40 minutes of mental toughness on both ends! Go Maryland!

Posted by: jake177 | February 25, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

More unnecessary quotes from Neil & Vasquez, again the kiss of DEATH...Duke by siete.

Posted by: iamasofaking | February 25, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"Specifically, I'm not getting into any specifics," he said. "I think we have a mental approach to this game where we feel we can be very competitive and I think that's the key going out there, and in terms of what offenses or defenses you use, you know, that's something that we do as a team and that's not for anybody else. But just the mental approach, we have to be a lot stronger than we were in the first game."

I guess that's what you say when you lost by 41 the last time out.

Posted by: miken1984 | February 25, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Maryland is markedly better than the last time they met. Burney is back, Tucker has confidence, and Greivis may be playing the point again tonight, which he clearly loves. With the home crowd in effect and Duke's confidence not what it was, this will be a very different game.

Posted by: jake177 | February 25, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

We coulda won that game with better free-throw shooting and more Greivis. It was so close! But we didn't get either.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | February 25, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Burney is back, Tucker has confidence, and Greivis may be playing the point again tonight, which he clearly loves. With the home crowd in effect and Duke's confidence not what it was, this will be a very different game.

Posted by: jake177 | February 25, 2009 6:46 PM

I gotta wonder what is going on with Burney's minutes. The guy played very well against Clemson and UNC, then doesn't get off the bench against the tallest front line we've seen.

He, unlike Gregory, doesn't freak out when he gets the ball on offense.

We could have used him tonight.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 26, 2009 12:40 AM | Report abuse

I am the No. 1 Terrapin fan here in Asheville, NC. And I support Gary Williams 100%, whether the Terps make the Big Dance or not. I wore my Terrapin cap and displayed a "Fear the Turtle" shirt in church the next day and had a lot of fun with that. It would have been great to have beaten Duke 5 days later. That didn't happen, but if the Turtle claws its way to victories in two of the last 3 games, I don't see how anyone could keep that Terrapin from dancing in March. I have been fortunate to see most of the Terp games on the TV here. True, the Terps are lacking size, and that one guy who give them that spark, like Clemson's Booker, or a Gerald Henderson, but we have Grevous Vasquez, a lot of guys who can step up, and we have fight and heart. Go, Terps!

Posted by: sfr123 | February 26, 2009 11:44 PM | Report abuse

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