Postseason Evaluations: Dino Gregory
This week, Terrapins Insider is taking a look back at the Maryland season that concluded last weekend. Each day will feature posts on the performances of specific players and Coach Gary Williams.
Sophomore forward Dino Gregory’s season can be summed up in just one play. With just less than eight minutes remaining in the first half of Maryland’s first-round NCAA tournament game against California, Sean Mosley had just blocked Jamal Boykin’s shot attempt, and the ball was bouncing toward the end line.
Gregory hesitated for a split second – he later said he didn’t want to tip the ball back to a California player – before hearing Eric Hayes yell, “Save it!” Gregory leapt out of bounds, his body completely parallel with the floor, and swatted the ball to Hayes.
The ensuing transition produced no points for the Terrapins, but that’s not the point. Gregory – boundless in athleticism and energy – had fulfilled his role precisely. His save did not show up in the stat sheet (as Coach Gary Williams frequently pointed out, not much of what Gregory did for the team ever showed up in the stat sheet), but it was appreciated by his teammates nonetheless.
Dave Neal pointed to that play as a prime example of both Gregory’s capability and the spark he provided. Gregory never scored more than eight points in a game (he averaged just 2.6 points per contest). He rarely had a monster performance on the boards, averaging only 3.2 rebounds per game.
And yet most of the time, Gregory appeared to get the most out of his 15 to 20 minutes of action. He blocked shots (he had 34 this season, one behind team blocks leader Landon Milbourne), forced steals (14), boxed out, dived on the floor (and, on occasion, above it), rushed up the court in transition offense and rushed back down it in transition defense.
Gregory had many technical shortcomings -- inconsistent shooting, a tendency to get caught out of position -- on both ends of the floor, but they often were masked by the effort he put forth.
Should his skills become more refined, Gregory could vie for a spot in the starting lineup next season. His size (6 feet 7, 227 pounds) makes him a bit of a tweener, but he could serve as an effective compliment in the post to one of the big freshman coming in next year.
What did you all think of Gregory’s season? How would you evaluate his performance? What sort of role do you think Gregory will play next season?
March 27, 2009; 12:04 PM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
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