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Terps Close Regular Season With 68-63 Loss At Virginia

The body language said it all. Whether it was Gary Williams with his lips pursed and his eyes down or Greivis Vasquez with his shoulders slumped and his gaze distant, it was clear the Terps knew they let one get away today at the John Paul Jones Arena.

Maryland built a 13-point lead in the first half and then faltered once Virginia switched to a zone defense. Players said effort, aggressiveness and clarity all were lacking during the final 25 minutes of play. In the end, it might have cost the Terps a NCAA tournament bid. It certainly made their necessary objective for next week's ACC tournament more extensive.

"We know; we know,” Greivis Vasquez said. “We’re mature about it. We knew it was our win to seal the deal, and now we got to win the ACC tournament. We might have to make something impossible, possible [ellipses] At least two good wins would get us back in (NCAA tournament discussion), but we’ve got to show people we can play night in, night out. We’ve got to prove it again.”

Three Up:

1) Early offensive aggressiveness. Maryland's flex cuts were creating good looks early on. Landon Milbourne found a groove that had been missing of late. Vasquez was scoring, as well. On the whole, the Terps appeared in complete control. And that, Williams said, was a problem.

"It’s a game where you look at the start of the game and it’s almost like it’s too easy, where you think that’s going to continue," Williams said. "We got away a little bit when they went on their run in the first half of trying to run our offense properly when they were in their zone."

2) Dave Neal. The senior forward continues to turn in solid performances. He scored 15 points on 6 of 12 shooting from the field and 3 of 5 shooting from three-point range.

3) Second chance scoring opportunities. Emphasis on "opportunities." The Terps collected a bundle in the second half, but struggled to finish many of them.

Three Down:

1) Zone defenses. Maryland struggled to break down Virginia's zone defense all night. The Terps were more hesitant to drive toward the basket and were too quick to fire off a shot. Maryland shot 37.5 percent from the field in the second half after shooting at a 46.2 percent clip in the first.

"We just got to look at the tape because I know the whole entire ACC tournament, people are going to be playing us zone," Neal said. "They see that our man offense is very good but our zone offense could use a little work."

2) Offensive inefficiency. The Terps required 66 shots to compile their 63 points. Vasquez alone took 20 shots. Maryland shot 22.7 percent (5 for 22) from beyond the arc.

3) Effort deficiency. The players should speak for themselves on this one ...

"We didn’t play hard, man," Vasquez said. "We didn’t play hard and then we slowed down when they went zone."

"If you couldn’t get excited for this game – we’re 7-8 and had a chance to win to go 8-8 – if you can’t get excited to play hard for 40 minutes, I mean, I question your love for basketball," Neal said. "But we can’t use that as an excuse. We should have come out here and played harder."

By Steve Yanda  |  March 7, 2009; 7:28 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: How Do You Like The Terps Chances?



Posted by: island1 | March 7, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Lesson learned hopefully for Gary to realize coaching will only get you so far-you have to have talented players-at least 2 to 3 All ACC type players to be a good program in the ACC it is not going to cut it with one guy -Vasquez who has pro skills most of the all the good teams in the ACC have at least two to three guys who can play at the next level! MD is an average program the last few yrs until he gets top talent they will continue struggling sub-500 in ACC and miss NCAA's!!! Get some talented players!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Terptime | March 7, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

good luck in the nit twerps...lmao

Posted by: miked4 | March 7, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: TheSuperhoo | March 7, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

This is coming from UVA fans? No bowl, no NIT?

Posted by: island1 | March 7, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't we see this one coming? Once again, a mediocre VA team kicks Terps' backsides big time. How is it that Maryland football and men's basketball teams can make VA (and some others) look so good? What a disappointment. Is there any reason to be optimistic about the forthcoming tournament?

Posted by: AncientTerp | March 7, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed we lost as well but let's give Gary a break. He is the best thing that has happened to Maryland athletics in the last 50 years. I'd rather have Gary than anybody else out there coaching men's basketball today. The Terps have averaged 20 wins a season since the national championship, have six 25+ win seasons in the last 16 years, the national championship and the worst record he has had in the last 16 seasons is 17-13. Gary is as tough as they come, knows the game as well as anybody and I'll take him any day, any time. He should stay at Maryland until he is ready to go and not before.

Posted by: RGmannion | March 8, 2009 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Terps had little talent TY & GW helped squeeze 7 ACC wins out of a team that should have won 4 like UVA. Neal has been nice surprise & they will lose Vasquez and find themselves struggling mightily again next yr to go 8-8 ACC. Only then might Gary realize that missing NCAA's in 5 of 6 years is unacceptable & hopefully he'll know no contract extension is coming nor deserved. Gary has said himself that recruiting is NOT part of his coaching responsiblity so obviously he's out of touch. We'll always be thankful for the NC Gary, but do the right thing & step down after next year's NIT.

Posted by: terps77 | March 8, 2009 1:17 AM | Report abuse

NIT again for Maryland, after a mid-March loss to the #11 (of twelve) teams in the ACC.

This was a very poor season, with mediocre players, coached by an individual whose ego far exceeds his abilities; not to mention the boorishness of fans (and even some players), the continuing discord with University administration, the recruiting inadequacies, the horrendous academic performance/graduation rates, and the aggregate, seriously adverse impact Williams currently has on the University of Maryland's stature. He is the catalyst that is making Maryland a "laughing stock" among reputable universities.

Posted by: rwkiefer | March 8, 2009 7:21 AM | Report abuse

why did such a great coach not call a timeout with 12seconds left, his team confused amd the play directly in front of his own bench ?

Posted by: UNCLEHARRY115 | March 8, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

To be honest Maryland's tournament chances were over long before the Virginia game. They will probably die in the NIT. Next year Gary will again blame the administration, keep quoting that because he won a championship he is safe, and again fail to make the tournament. Thank you Lady Terps for giving us something to hope for.

Posted by: markhagner1 | March 8, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse


I would love to know what "reputable university" you represent. Or are you just another loser nothing troll.

Posted by: settleten | March 8, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse


No break for Gary or you. Why don't you take him with you to another place. How about Virginia or UMBC?

It is "fans" like you who drink the Koolaid and settle for what is at best mediocrity.

But we have a great field hockey team!

Posted by: petecard | March 8, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I could have been mistaken, but was that Barno1 I saw camping out in front of the Comcast Center ticket office for NIT tickets?

At least Lee26 has the intelligence to get them at Ticketmaster...

Posted by: mabkhar | March 9, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

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