New Format Refreshes Terps
After a while, the conference slate can become a bit of a grind for any team. Especially near the end, the repetition and seemingly constant turnaround has a tendency to create a somewhat stale atmosphere.
Maryland, for example, played three games in a seven-day stretch from Feb. 25 to March 3. The competition itself is enough to get the juices flowing; that's not the issue. It's the time in between that can begin to wear on a team.
"Once the regular season's over," Gary Williams said, "there's that lift that you get from doing something different."
This week's ACC tournament certainly constitutes "something different." Maryland potentially could play four games in four days. After the first game, there's no time for practice, no time for major adjustments and no time for over-analyzing previous performances. According to Williams, that change of pace often is well-received.
"It's very easy to play two games in two days," Williams said. "They're 18-22 years old. They're certainly in good enough shape to do that so the physical part of it isn't hard. Three games in three days, we had to do that in Florida so that's not hard either. It's just, if we get to that fourth game, that'd probably be pretty tough."
Technically, the Terps played three games in four days while at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando last Thanksgiving, but you get the idea.
As for entering tomorrow night's matchup against N.C. State fresh off consecutive losses, Williams said he was not concerned. His team has rebounded "after a couple of losses that could have been termed 'embarrassing,'" already this season. He sees no reason why they cannot do it again.
And in regards to the fact his team's NCAA tournament hopes hinge on winning not just one, but at least two ACC tournament games, Williams said the focus simply has to remain on beating the Wolfpack, as difficult as that might be at times.
"You just worry about N.C. State," Williams said. "All that other stuff is ... there's a lot of scenarios after N.C. State, but there's only one scenario in the first game."
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