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Guarding the little guys problematic for Terps

The good news for Maryland is that the only player on William & Mary's roster shorter than 6 feet is freshman guard Doug Howard II (5-9), and he has played only at the tail end of two blowouts this season.

Of late, the Terrapins have run into a string of diminutive guards who are both talented and super quick. They have not guarded these players particularly well. Take Sunday night as an example. Florida Atlantic point guard Raymond Taylor stands 5-6 (or at least that's what he's listed at; we all know how misleading such height listings can be sometimes). The Maryland player assigned to guard him -- Greivis Vasquez -- stands around 6-5.

But whatever height advantage Vasquez possessed, Taylor negated on the offensive end with his incendiary speed. Vasquez -- as well as Adrian Bowie, who also took a crack at guarding Taylor -- had trouble keeping Taylor in front of him throughout the night. Fortunately for the Terrapins, Taylor missed more than a handful of close-range shots after gliding past his man into the lane or along the baseline. He shot 6 for 16 from the field and finished with 16 points.

"Well, you know, I'm 6-5, 6-6, and I was guarding a guy that, you know, I give him credit," Vasquez said of Taylor. "He's tough and he's good, but he was little. It was hard for me to guard him, and those guys were quick, but we got it done."

Taylor fared better from beyond the arc, where he made 4 of 6 attempts. His quickness helped him find openings along the perimeter as well.

While Maryland might not face many guards as small as Taylor in the ACC, they will go up against a fair share of quick guards capable of making Vasquez and the rest of the Terrapins' back-court chase as doggedly as they had to Sunday. With that in mind, junior guard Cliff Tucker said the team must do a better job of providing help defense.

"We've got to help him out, too," Tucker said of Vasquez. Taylor "was a lot quicker than Greivis, so he scored a lot today. But we've got to do a lot better job of helping each other out."

By Steve Yanda  |  December 28, 2009; 10:31 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Terrapins switching up the front court


Maryland needs to start playing better defense. They have given up quite a few 3-pointers, especially in their losses. And they need to start hitting the boards. Like Gary said, last years team was smaller but a better rebounding team. This team has some work to do there as well.

Posted by: Jaymand | December 28, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

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