Hightlights from men's basketball scrimmage
Following last week's scrimmage, Maryland Coach Gary Williams pointed out that the Terrapins' defensive pressure was not as suffocating as it needed to be, but also that pressure is usually one of the final components to fall into place because the team spends more time on it in practice than on its other dropback defenses.
That said, the press defense seemed to be a point of emphasis during Saturday's scrimmage (two 20-minute periods) at Comcast Center. For nearly the entire workout, both squads executed some version of the press on in-bound plays. This time, Williams came back with a positive verdict.
"It’s coming," Williams said. "It’s a hard thing when you have both (freshman forwards) Jordan (Williams) and James (Padgett) in there in the back of the press because it’s pretty tricky back there, but I thought today was good because it gave them a chance to do it and they got good at it. They’re both quick enough to get some steals back there."
The back spot in the Maryland press can be tricky, senior forward Landon Milbourne said, because whoever fills that role doesn't necessarily have one spot or opposing player of which to keep track.
"You have to be able to see everything," Milbourne said. "Some times when guys play in the back, they feel like they have time to catch a little break, but that’s not really the case with our press because a lot of teams try to go long and throw long passes, and(Jordan Williams) got that pass today. A guy threw long and he dove for the ball and got a steal. That’s real good for him to get early on because when we start pressing teams, there’s going to be times when that’s going to happen."
Junior guard Cliff Tucker tallied three steals. Jordan Williams and sophomore guard Sean Mosley each recorded two. Padgett and Jordan Williams were the top two rebounders with 11 and 10, respectively. Senior guard Greivis Vasquez led all scorers with 30 points on 11 of 16 shooting.
1) Eric Hayes. The senior guard looked a bit aprehensive during last week's scrimmage, but was far more aggressive on Saturday. He drove to the basket without caution and appears to have cleared whatever mental hurdle accompanied his recovery from a turf toe injury earlier in the fall. He scored 18 points on 6 of 9 shooting.
"I think he was on a mind-set that you have to attack and hit some shots," Mosley said. "He hit a lot of wide open shots. He was out in preseason, so I guess that played a factor too, because he really didn’t have his legs. I think he feels very comfortable now. He came in and hit like four or five threes today and that helped us out a lot because it extended the lead down the stretch."
2) Shooting percentages. Gary Williams said the players took too many first-look shots early in Saturday's scrimmage, but that the shot selection improved as the workout progressed. Here are the final team shooting numbers: 52 percent (46 of 87) from two-point range; 42 percent (12 of 28) from three-point range. Three players (Milbourne, Hayes and Vasquez) took at least nine attempts and shot at least 63 percent from the field.
3) Freshmen forwards. Padgett and Jordan Williams turned in impressive performances again today. Padgett shot 6 of 12 from the field, scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Williams shot 3 of 7 from the field, scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
1) Steve Goins's knee. Gary Williams said the sophomore forward will see a doctor Sunday to evaluate a lingering knee injury. Goins underwent knee surgery over the summer in Chicago. He did not play in Saturday's scrimmage.
"Every time he’s tried to play, last week when he tried to play, it’s puffed up on him," Gary Williams said. "They drained it last week, and it just might be a bad knee, I don’t know. I’m not a doctor."
2) Kicking old, bad habits. As was mentioned earlier, the players were chided for taking too many first-look shots early on in the scrimmage. Just a theory, but that might be a reflection of the team having to kick a reflex from last season, when throwing the ball into the post was not an appealing option. With more big, capable bodies down low, taking the first open look isn't always the best (or only) option.
"You know, we got so many good guards that sometimes we just want to shine and do our thing, but it’s still a little early," senior guard Greivis Vasquez said. "We’re still working, you know. We took some horrible shots. Not horrible, but we can’t really depend on the one-on-one game. This is college; this is not the NBA, so coach was putting a lot of emphasis on executing the plays and making sure we hit the post men. I think we did a good job in the second part of the first half and then I thought we had a better second half."
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