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When one problem leads to another

Following Sunday's win over Florida Atlantic, Maryland Coach Gary Williams said his team had two primary defensive issues: rebounding and defending the perimeter. The Terrapins own a -0.5 rebounding margin and are allowing opponents to shoot 35.5 percent from three-point range. On Tuesday, Williams was asked whether one problem was a by-product of the other.

"It is," Williams said. "The hardest three-pointer to guard is off of an offensive rebound because everybody’s kind of going toward the glass. When they kick it out, you don’t have your defense set up. You can fly at a shooter maybe, but it will be from a long way and that’s all you get. So it is definitely a function. The last team we played, Florida Atlantic, had three threes after offensive rebounds, so that’s nine points. It doesn’t seem like much, but that’s nine points in a game. Just get that rebound and that’s nine less points they score.

"As you play, teams get more aggressive as they get into conference play, no matter what the conference is. The games are just more aggressive. When you get into conference play, rebounding becomes more important. We’re working on it. I think we have the capability of being a good rebounding team. We’ll have to be tomorrow night. That’s the thing, it’s not just for the future; it’s here. We have to be a good rebounding team tomorrow night."

William & Mary attempts an average of 27.1 three-point shots per game and makes 41.0 percent of those attempts. In light of Williams's point, it would seem that the Tribe is capable of making Maryland pay should the Terrapins turn in another sub-par effort on the boards.

Freshman forward Jordan Williams is the team's leading rebounder (8.0 rpg), but senior guard Greivis Vasquez said the team needs Williams -- as well as the other players on which Maryland relies for rebounds -- to produce even more in that regard.

"We have to put some pressure on ourselves," Vasquez said. "You know, if I have to get 14 rebounds, and Jordan is our best rebounder, he might need to get 20. I mean, why not? I’m tired of people saying, He’s a freshman, he’s this and that. We all know he can do so much better. That’s his role. His role is maybe not to score 20 points, but maybe get 20 rebounds. Same thing with James. If you come into the game, you should know that you have to rebound for us. Dino, the same thing. You’ve got to get rebounds for us. That’s what we need.

"We’ve got to get better at that, the whole team. It’s not only those three guys. Our guards got to get rebounds. It’s unacceptable the way we’re rebounding the ball lately, so tomorrow we have to try to get better. That’s something that we need to get better at because in the ACC there are so many big teams that if we don’t rebound the ball, it’s going to be tough for us to win."

By Steve Yanda  |  December 30, 2009; 8:09 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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