Paging Landon Milbourne
On the court, this has not been a very productive road trip for senior forward Landon Milbourne. He has tallied 17 points in two games, which isn't all that bad. But Milbourne has only registered two rebounds since arriving in Maui. For a Maryland squad lacking depth and experience in the post, that kind of rebounding production simply won't do.
According to Coach Gary Williams, Milbourne is the type of player who needs to get involved in the game's flow early in order to be most effective as the game progresses. But against Chaminade on Monday and against Cincinnati on Tuesday, Milbourne got into early foul trouble and was largely disengaged from the action the rest of the way.
"He got in foul trouble again," Williams said following Tuesday's loss. "That’s two straight games where he’s been in foul trouble. He’s got to stay out of foul trouble. That was the big thing. A lot of players are rhythm players. Landon’s one of those players who plays better the more he plays. We had to yank him out quite a bit today to try to keep him out of foul trouble. He didn’t really get it going."
Though he stands just 6-foot-7 and 205 pounds -- undersized for a frontcourt player -- Milbourne possesses the athleticism and quickness to make himself a viable rebounding option. He proved as much last season as he adapted to his post-oriented role.
With freshmen forwards Jordan Williams and James Padgett proving they are more than capable of holding their own on the boards, Milbourne does not need to shoulder the load all on his own. But in order for the Terrapins to win a slate of tough upcoming games (Wisconsin later today, Indiana on Dec. 1, Villanova on Dec. 6), Milbourne, at the very least, needs to be involved in establishing Maryland's frontcourt presence. That begins with staying out of early foul trouble -- certainly a task easier said than done.
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