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Back from Maui, issues addressed for men's basketball team

Senior forward Landon Milbourne said Monday afternoon that the players called a team meeting yesterday to address several of the deficiencies that led to Maryland departing Hawaii late last week with a 1-2 showing in the Maui Invitational.

The Terrapins stand 4-2 entering tomorrow's ACC/Big Ten Challenge match-up at Indiana, and while Milbourne wouldn't go so far as to call this week's pair of games (Maryland also plays No. 3 Villanova on Sunday) more crucial than they otherwise would have been had the team performed better in Maui, he did acknolwedge that some added pressure does accompany two early season defeats.

"Our bench production has to pick up, and our senior leadership has to pick up as well," Milbourne said. "I think we addressed that, and we'll see what happens."

Milbourne said overconfidence played a role in Maryland's two losses, as well as its shaky first half against Division II Chaminade in the first round of the tournament. He also cited a lack of aggression on defense and a lack of execution on offense.

"Too many times we were caught trying to go one on one and making bad turnovers, taking bad shots from everybody on the team, and that's just something that we pointed out," Milbourne said. "Being aggressive on defense is just a certain mindset that you have to have. When the game starts, you can't let your man score. You have to take it upon yourself to not let your man score. And if we do get beat, we have to have each other's back. We have to move, we have to keep other players from getting in the lane. When team's drive, it creates so much of a problem. They could dish it out for open threes or they could get to the foul line, and that's just something we have to eliminate. We weren't emphasizing that enough when we went out there, and now that we've lost a couple of games, we know what we have to change."

Milbourne later said the Terrapins lacked the emotion that was present during the team's run to the NCAA tournament last season, something he attributed in part to the team's 3-0 start.

"Everything's okay when you win," Milbourne said. "You don't look at a lot of the mistakes that you made in a game you win, and being that they were a DII team I don't think that we really could see where we messed up a lot. But when we played against a better talented team, we got exposed a little bit, so it was easier to see what we were doing wrong. We just didn't face it fast enough, and that's why we had the second loss. But now that we've had some time to look and see how we can fix some things we'll be alright."

By Steve Yanda  |  November 30, 2009; 2:48 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Sounds like Milbourne is taking Senior Leadership to new levels. Glad to see that issues like this are being noticed and addressed by the players. Good luck in Indiana (remember 2002)!!! Go Terps!!!

Posted by: TerpGrad | November 30, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I think that the team is missing Adrian Bowie who should be starting and is better in a starting role. I feel like he's thinking too much and not playing basketball. He's an off the dribble guy and shouldn't be taking 20 foot jump shots except when he catches the ball in rythym. But even then, he should be taking it to the hole because most people can not keep him in front of them. Plus he gets in the passing lanes which disrupts things a bit as well on defense.

Vasquez is also pressing way too much and not letting it come to him. They're jamming up the lane and making him shoot because that's his weakness. Though he says taking 30000 shots in practice is the what's going to make him a better shooter, I disagree. Looking at tape and realizing what teams are going to do to him so he knows where he should and can get his shot off will help him take better quality shots and open things up a bit.

Kudos to the freshman big men who can manhandled a little down in Maui but eventually held their own and have a lot of promise. Remember, they're only 6 games in. There are still 25 or so more to play at least.

By the way, Gary needs to run other plays than just the flex all the time. I think he's trying to get the freshman so used to running it, he's forgetting that there are other plays to call that they need to work on as well.

Posted by: DiehardTerp | November 30, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"Milbourne said overconfidence played a role in Maryland's two losses" I will never ever in a million years understand this. How on this earth were they overconfident???

ESPECIALLY after losing to Cincy!!

Posted by: ckstevenson | November 30, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Here is the state of the Program as we sit after another disappointing start to the season:

We are 52nd in the AP.

7 ACC teams are ranked higher the Maryland

8 Big Ten Teams are ranked higher.

We play Indiana tonight in Bloomington and the Hoosiers are one of the three Big Ten teams ranks lower than us. If we win, what should we say... that we have righted the ship?

If we lose, what will the Koolaid drinkers (i.e. Barno) say?

I hope we don't have to find out.

Posted by: petecard | December 1, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Pete -

You are right. Winning in Indiana is a must tonight. No it won't right the ship, but wint Nova on the horizon it will show us a lot about the focus of the team.

Its early in the season, (not an apology) so the rankings are going to have a lot of volatility right now. A few quality wins will help tremendously.

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | December 1, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Really? Winning tonight is a must? Today is what, Dec. 1? Can't believe the sky is falling already. However, having said that, this team needs to play better defense (the press looked terrible, even Chaminade broke it easily), and Vasquez needs to play MUCH better. He's looked awful thus far. But, a must win, I think not.

Posted by: CYork1 | December 1, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Considering we have no more out of conference opponents that will mean anything (minus Villanova) tonight is a must win if they want to better situate themselves at the end of the year. I think both Cinci and Wisconsin will be on the national stage at the end of the year so we got to pull for both of those teams to help keep our RPI up. Afer Villanova we play what should be 5 cupcake oppnents before the ACC season opens. This being a down year for the ACC we can't depend on our conference to help that much with our RPI. We need to win tonight becauase #3 Villanova is waiting in the wings and that game might not be too pretty for us. They are just as athlectic but much more team oriented than Cincinatti was and you saw what happened with that game.

Posted by: terptilldeath | December 1, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

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