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Shutting Down Sylven

Before Maryland's first meeting with Virginia back in January, I spoke with Cavaliers Coach Dave Leitao and asked him what had contributed to freshman guard Sylven Landesberg's early success at the collegiate level. Leitao said two things set Landesberg apart from his peers -- his ability to drive to the basket, and his ability to get to the free throw line.

Leitao also said a significant challenge for Landesberg would be adjusting his game as teams became more aware of his strengths -- and thus, came up with more concerted means of limiting his effectiveness -- as the season progressed. Though Landesberg certainly has continued to develop, it has been at a much slower pace in recent weeks than it was in te season's first few months.

As the Lynchburg News Advance reported recently, opposing teams have succeeded in befuddling Landesberg by forcing him to play against more zone defensive looks. When Landesberg's driving lanes disappeared, he had to rely more on his perimeter shooting skills. Landesberg is shooting 29.0 percent from three-point range in conference play.

Though Landesberg's accuracy from beyond the arc had improved in recent games, he did not attempt a single three-pointer Tuesday night against Clemson. His only points (3) came on free throws.

By Steve Yanda  |  March 6, 2009; 10:25 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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