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Aggression Is Key For Bowie

The first five games of March did not treat Adrian Bowie particularly well. The sophomore guard scored no more than six points in any of those games, and he struggled to become involved in other aspects of the game as well.

But starting with Maryland's loss to Duke in the ACC tournament semifinals and continuing last night with the Terrapins' 84-71 win over California in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Bowie has reemerged as a key contributor to the Maryland offense. He tallied 12 points and seven assists against the Golden Bears and also made his presence felt in other, less measurable ways.

"That’s what we expect from him," Maryland guard Eric Hayes said. "He’s been struggling a little bit, but we know that that’s what he can do. Against a team like this where we had a small guy covering me and kind of a bigger guy covering him, he’s able to get to the basket pretty much at will when he’s got somebody covering him like that."

After the Duke loss in Atlanta, Bowie explained that his recent inconsistency had to do with his in-game approach. Bowie said when he's aggressive, he's effective. When he's not, well, he has stretches like the one out of which he just broke. As for what decides his aggression level from one game to the next, Bowie did not have an answer.

"Some games if he’s not being aggressive going to the basket, he’s a little more tentative," Hayes said. "It even carries over to the defensive end. When he’s being as aggressive as he was today, that’s the type of player he can be. He played great [Thursday], and that’s what we expect him to do."

Bowie was charged yesterday with covering California guard Jerome Randle, the Golden Bears' most dynamic scorer. Though he admittedly struggled to contain Randle in the first half, his effectiveness on defense improved after the break. Aided by the Terrapins' switch to a 3-2 zone, Bowie helped limit Randle to three second-half points.

Meantime, Bowie remained aggressive with the ball in his hands, and the Terrapins rewarded him by continuing to call his number in their flex sets.

"Basically we were running a two play," Bowie said. "We seen them not helping on the rollbacks, so once I was the rollback I seen I could attack my man and that’s what I did."

By Steve Yanda  |  March 20, 2009; 7:05 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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