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Rebounding, rebounding, rebounding

The area in which the Maryland men's basketball players and Coach Gary Williams have said the team most needs to improve based on their showing in last week's exhibition game, as well as last Saturday's scrimmage against Temple (which was closed to the public and reporters) is rebounding. Given the team's struggles in that department last season and the fact that it is breaking in two freshmen big men, that shouldn't come as much surprise.

But it does provide something to watch for tonight when the Terrapins host Charleston Southern in the regular season opener at Comcast Center. Will winning the rebounding battle be critical to defeating the Buccaneers? Probably not. But how Maryland fares on the boards will serve as an important indicator nonetheless.

"We have to rebound the ball well," senior guard Greivis Vasquez said. "We have a quick team that can run the break every time, but we have to get the ball first. Our last exhibition game we proved that we need to rebound better, so tomorrow's a great opportunity for everybody on the team to get 10 rebounds, whether you're a point guard or a two guard or a big guy. I'm expecting everybody to get in the paint and help our big guys get rebounds. ... We've proved that if we can rebound the ball, we can be a great team."

Okay, so maybe 10 rebounds per Terrapin shouldn't be the realistic standard, but still, you get Vasquez's point. The Buccaneers offer a handful of tall players, but none who have proven particularly adept at rebounding so far in their collegiate careers. CSU likely will start 6-foot-10 center Billy Blackmon, who tallied 4.5 rebounds per game last season before missing more than half the season because of injury, and 6-7 forward Kenny Mitchell, who redshirted last year because of injury. CSU can bring 6-9 senior Quinton Goods (2.5 rebounds per game in 2008-09) and 6-9 freshman Patrick Shaughnessy off the bench.

The Buccaneers' leading returning rebounder would have been the 6-5 Omar Carter (7.9 rebounds per game), but he transferred to Appalachian State in the offseason. Instead, their leading returning rebounder is the 6-5 Kelvin Martin, who pulled down 6.9 rebounds per game in 2008-09.

Anyway, the point is that Charleston Southern is a team Maryland should be able to handle on the boards. Whether or not the Terrapins do so remains to be seen. Maryland finished last season with a minus-1.7 rebounding margin per game, a mark that will need to improve if the Terrapins are to live up to the heightened expectations surrounding the program entering this season.

"We learned that we need to rebound a lot better than we did," senior guard Eric Hayes said of the past week of preseason competition. "I think we got outrebounded in our exhibition [against Indiana (Pa.)], and in Saturday's scrimmage I believe we got outrebounded by Temple. But we did a good job scoring, ran the offense pretty well. Basically, we need to shore up the rebounding aspect."

James Padgett and Jordan Williams, Maryland's two freshmen forwards, will play a significant role in determining the Terrapins' ability to improve their rebounding. Padgett earned the start against Indiana (Pa.) after junior forward Dino Gregory was suspended because of what Maryland described as a violation of team rules. Gregory also did not participate in last Saturday's scrimmage against Temple, according to a source close to the men's basketball program. Gary Williams said Thursday he had no update on Gregory's status for Friday night's game.

Additionally, sophomore forward Steve Goins continues to sit out because of a lingering knee injury. Gary Williams said Thursday that Goins has not practiced in recent weeks. Goins is not expected to play Friday night against CSU.

"We're waiting to see where he feels like he can play, and then when he can play, you know, in practice obviously, then we'll see how that will be the next day," Gary Williams said. "And if he can go the next day and a couple times in a row, he'd be ready to go in a game. We could use Steve; there's no doubt about it. He's 6-9, 250 and does some good things when he does play. It's just been a health thing the whole time with him, really ever since high school. The knee just hasn't responded that well to what's been done to it."

With Goins and possibly Gregory out of the lineup Friday night, either Padgett or Jordan Williams likely will be inserted into the starting lineup. Gary Williams said Padgett was chosen to start last week against Indiana (Pa.) because he matched up best against the opposing lineup. He said Thursday the same method would be used in determining Friday night's fifth starter.

"You got a quarter?" Williams said. "Flip it and see what comes up. They're different players. A lot depends on who we're playing against, if one of the freshmen start."

Regardless of which freshman starts (if one of the freshmen start), both likely will see significant playing time. Gary Williams and Vasquez both made a point Thursday of stating that the Terrapins don't necessarily need the freshmen to provide points at this stage in the season. Making an impact on the glass and in the flow of the offense would suffice.

"The most important thing for them is they need to understand their role and what they can do for us," Vasquez said. "Just like I tell them every day in practice, if you get me open and you get your teammates open like Sean and Adrian and Eric, that will be better than you guys trying to, you know, score for yourself. You just got to play your role. Obviously, we need them to score in the paint when they get the ball, but I think their role is more like a role player. They don't have to be the main players on the court. Obviously, we need them to play like they have been here for two years because we didn't have big men before. But I don't want to put too much pressure on them."

By Steve Yanda  |  November 13, 2009; 10:56 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Gregory out again

Comments

wow - no update on Gregory. We need bigs. How is it that we recruit two bigs and end up with less than we had last year while losing Neal?

I hope Dino is back in uniform real soon. This could be such a disaster....unless one of the Freshmen is the second coming of Joe Smith.

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | November 13, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

From the team's official site:

The game will be telecast live on Comcast SportsNet and can be heard on the Terrapin Sports Radio Network, with flagships WJZ-FM (105.7) and ESPN1300 in Baltimore and 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C. Pregame on the netowrk begins at 7 p.m.

Not sure what that means for online viewing.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | November 13, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm not expecting Gregory to play this season.

Prediction: Terps 75 Charleston South 52

Posted by: fushezzi | November 13, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Eric,
What happened to the College FB chat?

Posted by: aviscardo | November 13, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Tobias Harris in the house tonight!!

Posted by: J-Wiz | November 13, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

For all of the bashing Poopy has endired (and dished out) and all of the invitations from board members to leave the board forever, he has provided THIS valuable service which I am thankful for (beyond the laughs he has given us).

These sites are great, and I would have never found them w/o our friend Poopy (underscore). Did not have the patience to wade through old posts so copied them from my browser in another window. All credit should go to Poopy, though. He posted them a few weeks ago.

If they don't work, can someone please post whether we can see this game on-line? Thanks.

Regards -

-hgr

http://www.atdhe.net/
http://www.channelsurfing.net/
http://www.justin.tv/directory/sports

Posted by: HughGRection | November 13, 2009 9:35 AM
----------------------------

O kist checked and it looks like the game won't be on either atdhe.net or chanllesurfing.net. It may be on justin.tv but I would guess that won't be known until around tip off time.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | November 13, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Long live Mr McPoop! thanks for the websites

Posted by: epdaly | November 13, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey Debbie Yow, do your job and rule one way or the other on Dino (and if it isn't your decision, lean on whomever it is that makes the decision immediately)- nice work leaving your Head Coach in the wind on who his STARTING CENTER will be for opening night. This incident occurred over the summer, MONTHS ago.

This is a big example of Debbie not having Gary's back, and it makes me sick. Debbie, please remember that Gary's 1 program pays for all your 26 others combined. Shame on you-

Posted by: S2DU | November 13, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

heading to the game in a few...just got finished with my cheatsheet of Charleston Southern heckling material. It's pretty sweet.

Posted by: Barno1 | November 13, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

A grown man with a heckling cheatsheet?

Wow! Really?!?!?!?!?!

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | November 13, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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