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Bench's job is to not halt the flow

There are many ways to evaluate how effective a given team's bench is. You can look at whether the reserve unit outscores its team's opposing reserve unit during a game. You can look at each back-up individually and monitor whether they provide the sort of production on a gamely basis that fits with their specific skill set. You can look how many minutes each reserve is on the court.

There is some level of validity to each of those manners of assessment. But the one that matters most to Coach Gary Williams has nothing to do with much of what you can find on a stat sheet.

On Saturday against N.C. State, reserve guard Cliff Tucker tallied 11 points in 17 minutes. Reserve forward Dino Gregory registered eight points and six rebounds in 22 minutes. Both of those were solid showings, but what impressed Williams the most was that Tucker and Gregory -- along with reserve guard Adrian Bowie -- were able to enter the game seamlessly in regards to carrying forth the momentum Maryland's starters had established.

"To get consistent play from Cliff Tucker and Dino Gregory and Adrian Bowie coming off the bench, whether they score a lot of points is not the key," Williams said Saturday. "The key is to keep us playing the way we were playing, and we were able to do that, especially on the defensive end of the court tonight. I don't think there was any letdown at all when we substituted."

By Steve Yanda  |  January 25, 2010; 9:02 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Maryland's ACC start gives team 'optimism'

Comments

Ok, so to get real nit-picky or persnickety...think we need to see Padgett on a consistent basis. We will NOT win the big games with only 3 bigs - including Milbourne as a big. He has shown flashes of athleticism and seems to be able to play at the required speed. Has not had enough experience at this point of being in a game where his contribution counts (the end of laughers is not real game experience). DG, JW and LM will get in foul trouble and we will be well served to have a guy who can play confidently.

Loved the back and forth on the last posts about: a)the merits or demerits of Petecard's fandom; b) Maryland as an academic powerhouse; c) Barno's unfailing opinions and knowledge about the team; and d) the fact that the sniping is happening while (lets face it) the team is doing well - perhaps better than some of us expected. It reminds me of when three or more of my college buddies get together and start talking Terps. In all seriousness, these Terps have given a welcome distraction after the disaster of the Football season, the horrific on-field and front-office performance of the Skins and Gilbert's almost comical homicide of the Wizards franchise. Thank you JW for being a first rate big-man and player...now start hitting those FTs.

I agree with Pete - there are some severe tests ahead of this team. However, this last set of games (excl. Long Wood - dammit Poopy every time I write it a start to crack up thanks to you..but then again, look at my screen name) was not cakewalk and or the 1st qtr of the ACC season, I'd give high marks. Yes the Wake loss was close and a win would have rated an A+, but the team has played consistently well and far more focussed than it did last year. Not grading on a curve - 3-1 in ACC play given the competition is pretty good. When all is said and done, I suspect (or hope) that we'll win 10-11 games. 7 out of 12 games to go seems far more achievable given the remaining schedule and the level of play seen thus far. Then again other issues could crop up and injuries could derail any team's prospects.

Regards-

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | January 25, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

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