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N.C. State's Ball-handling Struggles Aid Terps

One unforeseen variable last night was the Wolfpack’s propensity to turn the ball over. In recent weeks, N.C. State’s coaching staff praised the development of the team’s ball-handling ability.

But last night, the Wolfpack’s decision-making was poor and its capacity to withstand Maryland’s intense pressure was low. N.C. State committed 16 turnovers on the night. Eight of the nine Terrapins who entered the game recorded at least one steal.

With 4:01 remaining in the game and Maryland ahead by five, sophomore guard Cliff Tucker and junior guard Eric Hayes hasseled N.C. State guard Courtney Fells into a turnover near the Wolfpack bench. Hayes knocked the ball loose and then Tucker got to it before N.C. State forward Brandon Costner, who also made a play for the ball.

"When you're a guard in that situation, you have an advantage because you're quicker," Gary Williams said. "You're just quicker to the ball. And it's not a jump ball situation. That ball was pretty low when they went for it. That was a big play."

Moments later, Vasquez found sophomore forward Dino Gregory underneath the basket at the other end of the court for an easy bucket. The Terrapins lead grew to seven at that point, and appeared in prime position to hold on for the much-needed win.

By Steve Yanda  |  March 2, 2009; 7:18 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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There is a reason Steve Yanda now gets ignored by Gary Williams at press conferences.

The Washington Post ought to think long and hard about whether it wants to continue down the current path they're on with respect to the University of Maryland's basketball program. Consider the Post's relationship with the Washington Redskins, which has deteriorated in the last 10 years to the point where Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder now refuse to speak with beat reporter Jason La Canfora, due to La Canfora and the Post's perceived agenda-driven, irresponsible and unethical coverage of the Skins over the last several years. That deteriorating relationship culminated this past season with La Canfora attempting to blow the whistle on the Redskins on a phony tampering charge that he called the NFL front offices on--which in turn resulted in Vinny Cerrato publicly calling out La Canfora by name on his radio show and creating quite a backlash among the Post's readers.

This in many ways seems quite similar to today's accusatory piece on possible NCAA violations.

Is this what the Washington Post wants to happen to their relationship with the University of Maryland? The Post has started down this ugly path just recently. But today's piece does not inspire confidence that the attacks will cease.

The blame should not stop with Prisbell and Yanda. Yes, to most observers it does appear that both of the Terps reporters are trying to make a name for themselves at the expense of the Maryland basketball program. But the responsibility should also lay with their assignment editors and all the higher ups in the Sports department involved in the recent attacks. This is a collective effort to go after MD--and one that had better stop if the Post does not want to see more embarrassments like Steve Yanda being ignored by Gary Williams at press conferences.

To the Post's assignment editors: Do you really want this to go where your relationship with the Redskins front office has gone, all just to sell a few papers and generate maybe a little more ad revenue?

To the 2 Terps beat reporters: Do you really want to become Jason La Canfora, and be despised by the team you are assigned to cover and most of your readers, all for the sake of making a name for yourself nationally?

There are other ways to make a name for yourself without losing your journalistic integrity.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 2, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Amen Brother Barno, Amen.

There was a time when responsible journalism was more important then manufacturing a story or name for yourself. It is time bloggers like Yanda start acting like real journalist and base their reporting on facts instead of speculation. Yanda is simply misguided in his intentions. He should sit down with Mr. Wilbon and pick his brain regarding journalistic integrity. It would benefit both Yanda and the Washington Post.

Posted by: fushezzi | March 2, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

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