How the Terps plan to approach Longwood game
One of the primary challenges for Maryland posed by tonight's match-up against Longwood will be maintaining focus. This is not to say that the Terrapins are an unfocussed bunch. In fact, it's quite the opposite. Maryland -- and most other teams in its position -- are so focussed on conference play that it would be only human of the Terrapins to feel some level of apathy entering a non-conference contest stuck in the middle of ACC play. Further complicating matters is that their non-conference foe happens to be a Longwood squad that is 4-14 and short on imposing components.
On Monday, sophomore guard Sean Mosley was asked how the team plans to approach tonight's game, considering the circumstances under which it will be played.
"We’re definitely focused on just staying consistent, basically," Mosley said. "We come out and play like it’s an ACC team, even though they not; it’s a non-conference game. It’s just one of those games you’ve got to get better at some things you need to work on, like running your plays right and pressure sets."
Is preparing as if Longwood is an ACC team one of those things that is easier said than done?
"Well, kind of, sort of," Mosley said. "But, you know, we always, no matter who we play, we lost to William & Mary early during the season in a non-conference game, and you know, we learned from there."
Ah yes, the cautionary tale of William & Mary. Maryland fell at home to the Tribe by six on Dec. 30, a game the Terrapins have said they should have won. While William & Mary (a team likely to earn an NCAA tournament bid) and Longwood are not of the same talent level, the comparison remains apt nonetheless, especially for a team searching for ways to keep its awareness level on high.
Maryland has won three of four games since the loss to William & Mary and have played well in all four contests. And that's exactly why the Terrapins hope to be able to keep their momentum heading in a forward direction. Also, tonight's game prevents Maryland from essentially having a second bye week in a three-week period.
"This is a game that’s good that we’re playing it," Coach Gary Williams said Monday. "You always worry about these games. We haven’t always played well in these situations, so hopefully we will play well tomorrow night ... I’m pleased with how we’ve handled the first three league games. Now we play a game that’s not a league game, obviously, but we have to approach it in a very team-like fashion, in that we know we can’t just walk out there and play. That does us no good. That allows the team we’re playing confidence that they can play with us. It’ll be interesting to see, for me, how ready we are to play tomorrow night."
January 19, 2010; 8:16 AM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
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