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Three Questions On Maryland-Memphis

A few hours from now, Maryland will take on Memphis for the right to advance to the West Region semifinals next week in Glendale, Ariz. For Memphis, taking this step would merely be meeting the standard the Tigers set in recent seasons. For Maryland, this is an opportunity to further defy the many critics who never would have imagined at the season's outset that the Terrapins could get this far.

Here are the three questions I think will be critical to determining the outcome of today's contest:

1. Can the Terrapins get Memphis into early foul trouble? During their first round matchup against Cal State Northridge, several Tigers were forced to the bench early on after picking up multiple fouls. Tyreke Evans, Robert Dozier and Shawn Taggert each collected two early fouls. Cal State Northridge took full advantage and that helped enable the Matadoors to stick close to Memphis until late into the game. Maryland's goal should be no different. Greivis Vasquez and Adrian Bowie should drive straight at Memphis's towering front court. If they can get to the foul line with frequency in the first half, their chances of success will increase.

2. Can the Terrapins implement their vaunted pressure defensive schemes for close to 40 minutes? Maryland's variation of pressure looks was extremely successful against California on Thursday. The Terrapins pressed early and they pressed late, and Cal never found a way to adapt. Memphis may be better equipped to handle it (Evans and Antonio Anderson are capable ballhandlers), but the Tigers might eventually wear down if Maryland can keep its press cooking for most of the game.

3. Will the Tigers know Greivis Vasquez's name by the end of the day? Vasquez promised they would yesterday, and the junior guard is more than capable of backing up his talk. Vasquez led the Terrapins in scoring, rebounding and assists this season. If Vasquez can work successfully into the flow of Maryland's offense early -- driving and dishing, orchestrating the transition attack, finding his stroke from long range, etc. -- and a few other Terrapins -- Adrian Bowie, Eric Hayes, Dave Neal -- can contribute in their typical manners, the Terrapins likely will find themselves in position to claim victory late in the game.

"If they leave me open, I’m going to keep on shooting," Neal said yesterday. "If it keeps falling, it could get scary for Memphis, because Greivis does a great job penetrating and they’re definitely going to have to collapse on Greivis when he penetrates. If we’re hot, it could be a long game for Memphis ... We’re playing great basketball, and that’s what you’ve got to do when you’re in postseason play is you’ve got to play extremely good basketball. We’re going to be ready for Memphis. We wanted a shot at Memphis."

What questions do you all have heading into today's game?

By Steve Yanda  |  March 21, 2009; 11:17 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Scouting Memphis
Next: Memphis Not Playing like a .500 ACC Team


Memphis lost to Syracuse 72-65. They don't shoot 3's well as a team. The Orange zone hurt them as should the Terps. UMD by 3+ today....

Posted by: Realness1 | March 21, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

For all the HOGs out there, who still think MD is not an elite program anymore, let's summarize the tournament so far:

G'Town, Va Tech, Kentucky, Miami, Geo Wash, UVA, Penn St.: no invitation

Wake, Fla St, BC, American, Morgan St: One and done


So, you still think we can't hang with the big boys?
Maryland 77, Memphis 72

Posted by: ecglotfelty | March 21, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: ecglotfelty | March 21, 2009 12:09 PM

No bid for Florida either and Clemson got banged out first round too. Go Terps!

Posted by: Realness1 | March 21, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

After reading comments from the previous 3-4 blog postings it's completely obvious some of you all are on crack, or have serious problems.

From posters letting their own subconscious thoughts seep into the blog via homoerotic wishes of testicles being sucked, to people saying Memphis must "respect the thrown" because they have 0 national titles while the mighty Maryland has 1, to actually hating a reporter just because he wrote a story about how Gary Williams isn't God, to contributing to said blog by only being able to copy/paste, to the stupid back and forth bickering because someone may not think the Terps and GW can do no wrong, to the pointless bickering.

It's obvious some of you have no social life and would rather spend their free time having internet "fights" hidden safely behind a computer instead of actually going out and doing things. This is why America is in the sad state that it is, because people would rather post their own assanine thoughts on a computer monitor than go out and be productive.

The posts from the past few blog entries have proven just that while at the same time giving me a real good laugh. For that, I thank you.

Oh yeah, Go Terps! Terps #1! Go Gary!

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 21, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

i particularly appreciated point #3. of course anything is possible: greivis could score 30 or 3...or anything in-between. he and neal are definitely talking some trash, but if they don't back it up the whole program will look silly. that said, i like to hear it more than i like hearing gminski advocate sterile play. that dude is so uptight one wonders if his spine has been fused.

Posted by: gr8folks | March 21, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

That zone Gary loves hasn't really been effective most of the season. And there was NO WAY it was going to work today. Memphis has shooters. At some point, you have to tell your guys to play man-to-man defense and force them to demonstrate the grit and determination you need to succeed. A zone just wasn't going to work today, and it's obvious now. But it's also too late now.

Posted by: CDon | March 21, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Here's what I see with about 2 mins left in the first half. Maryland isn't playing really any worse than they did the last game. Memphis is just shooting the ball extremely well, is FAR more athletic and they are having zero problems breaking MD's press. If I were Gary, I'd call off the press as it has cost MD 6 points so far. The referees also are not calling this game anywhere near as tight as they did the last game. MD needs to start converting on the 3 pt shot or else it's going to be one very ugly score at the end.

Posted by: Thundershock | March 21, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Cdon, Memphis destroyed their man to man defense. It really doesn't matter at this point.

Posted by: Thundershock | March 21, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Did I mention that Vasquez is an idiot for making the comments he made yesterday. MD must also be like 0-12 from 3 pt land.

Posted by: Thundershock | March 21, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Start the second half w/ hayes, tucker, general grevis, gregory, neal in my opinion.

Posted by: Realness1 | March 21, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

UMD should have zoned them before Mem. had the lead and confidence as well.

Posted by: Realness1 | March 21, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully Vasquez will learn to keep his mouth shut and if Memphis was in the ACC they'd shred through Maryland twice a year. The ACC is has always been a two team league. Every now and then a third team may surface, which for the past ten years or so has been Maryland. I think a forty point thumping will be real education for Vasquez on life outside the ACC.

Posted by: clark202 | March 21, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

To answer your three questions: 1) NO, 2) NO, 3) Why should they? We got better competition from UAB, Tulsa, and Houston in CUSA than from these clowns.

Posted by: brucev1 | March 21, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

As Gravquez said " Tigers have played no one" . Guess what we still have played no one . We, for sure, got better compitition from Tulsa and UAB . Go Memphis

Posted by: larrad2blue | March 21, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I guess this Memphis conversation is OVER.
Go Tigers

Posted by: larrad2blue | March 21, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Sanchez sure wouldn't be a starter @ MEMPHIS, baby!

Posted by: TIGERS3 | March 21, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

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