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?
Posted by: Realness1 | March 21, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ecglotfelty | March 21, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Realness1 | March 21, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 21, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: gr8folks | March 21, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: CDon | March 21, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Thundershock | March 21, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Thundershock | March 21, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Thundershock | March 21, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Realness1 | March 21, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Realness1 | March 21, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: clark202 | March 21, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: brucev1 | March 21, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: larrad2blue | March 21, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: larrad2blue | March 21, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: TIGERS3 | March 21, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.