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Hayes's constant theme: 'stay aggressive'

Maryland senior guard Eric Hayes attempted three shots during the first half of Sunday's loss to No. 3 Villanova. He does this sometimes, becoming lost in the shuffle. Hayes missed his first two shots against the Wildcats, and maybe that's what kept him from asserting himself in Maryland's offense the rest of the half.

Whatever it was that kept Hayes bashful in the first half disintegrated during the intermission. Hayes came out firing in the second half and ended up with 20 points on the night. He shot 5 for 10 from the field after halftime, including 4 for 7 from three-point range.

During a 19-7 Maryland run that closed the Terrapins' deficit to three points, Hayes and sophomore guard Sean Mosley led the way. The Hayes that showed up during the second half Sunday is the Hayes that Coach Gary Williams would like to see more often.

"I think he got more aggressive," Williams said. "Eric, you know, that's the constant theme: stay aggressive, stay aggressive. And sometimes he is and sometimes he isn't. But I like the way he responded at halftime. In other words, he came out and he knew we needed to score. He was willing to do that. It's hard being a scorer because you're kind of putting yourself out there. If you don't make shots, you look bad. And Eric took that responsibility tonight. It was good to see."

Hayes has plenty of reason to be confident in his shot. He is shooting 51.5 percent from the field and 50 percent (20 for 40) from three-point range this season. His 12.9 points per game ranks third on the team.

By Steve Yanda  |  December 8, 2009; 12:11 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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If someone is hitting 50% of their 3 pointers for the season, it's probably a good idea to get him more shots. There's absolutely no reason for Vasquez to have 25 more shots than Hayes, with the way they are currently playing. While Vasquez is still the emotional leader on this team, Mosley is now the rock the team relies on and Hayes should be the hot hand the Terps count on. Everyone else, including GV, should realize this and become role players.

Posted by: fushezzi | December 8, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

You really expect Vasquez to take a backseat to anybody?


Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | December 8, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

No, which is why I used the word "should" and not "will"

Posted by: fushezzi | December 8, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I expect hayes to not accept the back seat - Blake never took the back seat to Dixon - they complemented eachother (and Drew Nicholas for that matter). The constant theme that GV needs to play through his slump might be masking the fact that he might not be the best starter right now. I am a GV fan. Last year we would have gone nowhere without him. This year, we might be better with his role reduced. Not sold entirely on this idea yet, but it is an idea that I am sure GW has at least considered - and perhaps dismissed. I think he will play out of it and deliver more than a few big games for the team. I also think having DG's size, speed and experience will benefit GV's game tremendously. That said, part of the attempted shot differential b/w GV and EH is attributable to EH's reticence.

Why is anyone worried about GV's rebounding numbers? Last year's were more of a product of DG coming on strong at the middle of the season and a lack of rebounding from other sources. Would rather see GV's rebounding numbers decrease and see MD consistently win the team rebounding battle via the bigs they do have. No great team has a PG or SG leading in rebounds over the course of a season.


Posted by: HughGRection | December 8, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness for Hayes. It's a little surprising, as a coach's son, that he is so reluctant to shoot.

Gary needs to get him in the flow earlier. Eric needs to know and embrace his role as a shooter. The rest seems to come naturally...

I know...sit GV!

Posted by: petecard | December 8, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

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