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Three Questions on Terps-Bears

In less than two hours, the Terrapins will tip off against California in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Both squads see similarities between the two, which should make for an interesting matchup. Here are the three questions I think will be critical to determining today's outcome:

1) Will the Terrapins remain patient on offense? Cal does not press. The Golden Bears simply don't think its worth the risk. They don't collect a lot of steals, and they don't record too many blocks, either. Cal prefers to play a straight-up man-to-man defense that will wait until opposing players make mistakes -- take a shot off a bad look, bait a bad pass, etc. If Maryland's flex cuts are crisp and its shots are falling, the Terrapins could be in pretty good shape. If the Terrapins get sped up and begin to rush through their sets, they could find it to be a long, frustrating afternoon.

2) How effective will Maryland's 3-2 zone defense be? The Golden Bears shoot the ball well from beyond the arc. Really, really well. Opposing teams have tried to run zone schemes against Cal several times this season and only a select few have been successful. From talking to the players yesterday, I got the sense that Maryland at least will trot out the zone defense at some point today. How long it remains in effect is another matter.

3) Which Landon Milbourne will show up? There are games when Milbourne engages in the action early on. Those are the games in which he typically ends up with double-digit points and nearly double-digit rebounds. But if Milbourne doesn't get involved from the start, he struggles to get into the flow. Cal does not have much in the way of conventional interior players, and the opportunity for Milbourne to have a standout performance appears ample. Much of Cal's attention will be centered on stopping Greivis Vasquez, which means a big offensive night from Milbourne could be a twofold benefit for the Terrapins.

What other factors do you think will play major roles in today's game?

By Steve Yanda  |  March 19, 2009; 1:06 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Comments

Gary is more aggressive than Monty; need to impose their will on the game. Landon is always an X factor. Let's go CS Northridge! Terps by 4+ today....

Barno; keeping it real. Here's a post on the Sun to add to the understanding...

Gary got caught off guard when Gus Gilchrist defected...and he should be commended on overachieving without him. Oddly enough, the #12 center coming out of high school two years ago was Braxton Dupree. Tough to have a crystal ball re: player development, I guess. Other observations...probably would have liked to have had Shane Walker this year, too given Burney's injuries and our lack of wingspan in the paint. Overall, I'm pleased with the surprises this year...this team probably would have beaten last year's version. And one last thought...if Travis Garrison had turned out to be a reliable "banger" and inside scorer instead of such a softy, I bet nobody would be saying things have slipped since the championship.
Bound to be a couple of busts among all our diamonds-in-the-rough.

Posted by: matt j | March 19, 2009 12:40 AM

Posted by: Realness1 | March 19, 2009 1:06 PM

Posted by: Realness1 | March 19, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Barno serving up the koolaid for the rest of his followers to slurp up.

Drink up my pretties, little do you know you're getting closer to the poisoned cup.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 19, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Who's fault is it, realness, that certain recruits don't do jack? I'd say that rests on GW and his staff for either not recruiting actual studs or on his staff for developing those "softies" into toughies.

Oh yeah!

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 19, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Dupress has definitely been a mystery. In high school he seemed like Lonnie Baxter (although with a grade point average). In college -- well, more like Ted Baxter.

He's not just soft, he's got no stamina. And Maryland plays a stamina game.

Still think he would have made a hell of a left tackle.

Posted by: Samson151 | March 19, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

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