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Maryland beats Charleston Southern, 89-51

The final score wasn't much of a shocker. Maryland pulled away in the second half over an inferior Charleston Southern squad. Talent prevailed, as it almost always does in match-ups like these at the beginning of the season.

But there was still much to be learned about this Terrapins squad Friday night at Comcast Center. For starters, the freshman duo of Jordan Williams and James Padgett performed admirably in its first collegiate game. Secondly, Landon Milbourne might be the biggest benefactor of the Williams/Padgett presence. And thirdly, Greivis Vasquez sometimes makes passes so spectacular he fakes his own teammates out.

"We came out hard with pressure" in the second half, Maryland Coach Gary Williams said. "We did some good things offensively and pulled away pretty quick. But you can't do that all the time. I was pleased that when the score got a little, you know, the margin got bigger, we still played hard."

Five Maryland players scored in double figures and two more tallied nine points. Sean Mosley shot 7 of 9 from the field. Eric Hayes shot 3 of 5 from three-point range. Maryland forced CSU to commit 22 turnovers. Indeed, there were plenty of bright spots on the night.

Three Up:

1) Freshmen forwards. Wait, check that. One freshman forward and one freshman center. Gary Williams corrected a reporter who referred to Jordan Williams as a forward in the postgame press conference and said he is trying to convince Jordan Williams that he is a center. Whatever position he filled for the Terps on Friday night. He did it well. Jordan Williams tallied 12 points and nine rebounds while becoming the first freshman forward -- er, center -- to start a regular season opener at Maryland since Joe Smith and Keith Booth in 1993. Padgett, meantime, recorded 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

2) Landon Milbourne. After playing a junior season in which he eventually wore down under the stress of serving as Maryland's de facto power forward, the 6-foot-7 senior assumed less pressure in a frontcourt that nearly always included Jordan Williams or Padgett on Friday night and his performance improved as a result. Milbourne finished with a game-high 16 points and seven rebounds. He shot 7 of 10 from the field and tallied four steals.

3) Passing fancy. Senior guard Greivis Vasquez tallied 13 assists against CSU. His shot was not pretty (3 of 14 from the field) and he did not rebound especially well, but he sure did put on a show with his passes. At one point early in the second half, Vasquez and Sean Mosley were on a two-on-one fast break. Vasquez faked a behind-the-back pass, pulled the ball back around front and then flung it behind his back to Mosley, who finished the lay-up. The play could have been even more crowd-pleasing, except that Vasquez faked out Mosley in addition to the CSU defender. Mosley said he would have dunked the ball, but the rhythm of his steps was thrown off by Vasquez's trickery.

Three Down:

1) First-half rebounding. Granted, Charleston Southern has some tall players, but for Maryland to be out-rebounded, 23-20, in the first half is unacceptable. Just ask Gary Williams.

"We didn’t rebound well at all in the first half," the coach said. "We just weren’t going for the ball in the first half. We’re not the type of team that has a guy that’s going to get 20 rebounds (a game), so we have to have team rebounding. Each guy, when it’s his turn, he’s got to stick his face in there and get hit a little bit as he gets a rebound. That’s just rebounding. You have to be able to do that."

The Terrapins did improve on the boards in the second half and ended up tied with CSU in rebounds, 43-43, by game's end.

2) Jin Soo Choi's injury. So, let's see ... Dino Gregory's status remains unsettled (he sat out once again Friday night due to what the team continues to call an unspecified violation of team rules), Steve Goins remains out with a lingering knee injury and now Jin Soo Choi is out with what Gary Williams called a sprained ankle. That whittles Maryland's stable of frontcourt players down to Milbourne, Padgett and Jordan Williams.

Choi came down awkwardly and began limping after going up for an offensive rebound midway through the second half. He fell to the floor and had to be carried off the court by two teammates. He did not return. Gary Williams said after the game that he did not know the extent of Choi's injury, but noted that it did not look good.

3) Vasquez's shooting. Sure, it's just one game, but Vasquez admitted afterward that he was not fully engaged on offense Friday night. He shot 3 for 14 from the field and tallied nine points. He did, as was noted earlier, record 13 assists. But Maryland should hope Vasquez's shooting slump does not persist for long.

By Steve Yanda  |  November 13, 2009; 11:39 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: VaTech gets on the board first


Terps played great. At first I thought Padgett's nickname should be "Born heavy" as he was slow-moving around the court, but he got better by the end. I could see them starting together if necessary.

Posted by: schoolboard | November 14, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Very optimistic about the young guys. JW can get up and down the court reasonably well. Padgett not so much, but maybe - stay with me here - he is actually within normal limits since we really haven't had much of a frontcourt in a while. (To wit, Hassan Fofana was slower than mud flowing uphill.)

Right, I know - Hassan Fofana. I'm just saying maybe his speed isn't as bad as we think. GO TERPS!

Posted by: info_stuporhighway | November 14, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Time for the real Maryland season to begin. Drop the Terp's football coverage and give us more men's and women's hoops please.

Posted by: lavar609 | November 15, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

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