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Dealing with Clemson's Trevor Booker

In the first half of Wednesday night's nine-point Maryland win over Clemson, Tigers forward Trevor Booker was a flat-out nightmare for the Terrapins to deal with. He tallied 11 points and eight rebounds before the break, and Clemson's sudden ability to hit three-pointers (8 of 16 in the first half) made Booker even more annoying to deal with in the post.

Given that Clemson entered the game shooting 29.3 percent from three-point range (10th in the ACC in conference play), Maryland's defensive approach was to focus on shutting down Booker -- one of the top front-court players in the league -- and take their chances by leaving Clemson's back-court players with more open looks.

Afterward, Coach Gary Williams said he would take the same approach again, an acknowledgment that perhaps the Tigers shot far better from beyond the arc during the first half Wednesday night than they typically could expect to shoot.

Regardless, the Tigers' marksmanship forced Maryland to make a few defensive changes at halftime, and that started with how the Terrapins were dealing with Booker. In the first half, Maryland devoted help defenders to whoever was guarding Booker. Those help defenders were to ensure Booker did not get a clean look at the basket.

In the second half, Maryland placed more responsibility on freshman forward Jordan Williams, who primarily guarded Booker, by not sending over a help defender every time Booker touched the ball. That enabled the Terrapins to pay more attention to guarding the perimeter.

The Tigers shot 3 for 14 from three-point range and Booker tallied just two points (on two free throws) in the second half.

"Sometimes you get a little lucky," Gary Williams said. "Booker is such a great player that every time he touches it, you just feel it on the bench, you know, that he’s such a threat to score. He’s a great leader for their team in addition to that. It worked okay tonight. Hopefully if we play them again in the ACC tournament or something, we can figure out something to work then, too."

By Steve Yanda  |  February 25, 2010; 2:28 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: More offensively efficient second half aides Maryland comeback
Next: Scouting Virginia Tech


Without the help defender, JW was able to front Booker more, limiting his possessions.

As has been said before, the Terps need to box out better. And be physical about it, limiting opponent's ability to sidestep and jump.

Posted by: booger1 | February 25, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Booger commenting on Booker. Awesome.

Booger, you party with the Omega Moos lately?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 25, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Booger, Lamar wasn't really gay, was he?

Posted by: fushezzi | February 25, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Boy, he could throw a javelin.

Posted by: fushezzi | February 25, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

It was the Omega Moos that were gay and I used to party with Lamar until the javelin incident with the Moo tying his shoe.

LOL, you drew me out. I'm not the Booger you know and love, only hijacked his login. Forgot my user name, so have been using his. If anyone else wants to use it, it's easy to figure out. Guess I'll have to go create a new one. Or maybe take some stabs at guessing petecard's. That could be fun.

Posted by: booger1 | February 25, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Guess you'll have to hack into the WP login system, or bribe Steve or Eric!

Posted by: petecard | February 25, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Question for anyone who knows the answer:

What, if any, is the tie-breaker for the ACC regular season championship? Seems to me that anything other than head-to-head would be unfair. If we beat Duke next week and both teams otherwise win out, why wouldn't it be a co-championship?

Posted by: petecard | February 25, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Alright, haven't changed logins yet.

petecard, tiebreaker info is at

It's too long to paste here, but it starts with this:

1.When two teams are tied in the standings, regular season head-to-head results are used as the tiebreaker.

2.If the tied teams played each other twice in the regular season and split their games, then each team's record vs. the team occupying the highest position in the final regular season standings (or in case of a tie for first place, the next highest position in the regular season standings) and then continuing down through the standings until one team gains an advantage.

Posted by: booger1 | February 25, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Actually, that is for determining ACC tournament seeds.

Posted by: booger1 | February 25, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Found this on Wikipedia. Looks believable.

"Since July 1, 1961, the ACC's bylaws have included the phrase "and the winner shall be the conference champion" in referring to the tournament.[1] While it has become popular for the media (and fans of teams that finish first in the regular season but fail to win the tournament) to use the term "regular-season champions," such usage is not borne out by league rules and is incorrect to the extent it is used to imply that the team in question is the (or an) ACC champion for a given season.

The aforementioned tiebreakers apply only to the tournament seeding. Because the "regular-season championship" is unofficial, the ACC does not break ties to determine a sole such "champion."

This is at's_basketball_regular_season_champions.

Posted by: booger1 | February 25, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

In 2007, North Carolina and Virginia were unofficial ACC regular season co-champions even though NC beat VA in their only regular season game. Both had 5 ACC regular season losses.

Posted by: booger1 | February 25, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your response. Really appreciated.
Personally, the Tournament is fun and it does determine the automatic bid to the NCAA's, but I think the regular season is more meaningful.

Posted by: petecard | February 26, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Pete about the season being more meaningful than the tourney. matters more to me how a team performs over two months than it does over three days. anybody can get hot in a tourney, see john gilcrist, randolph childress, etc

booger, are you upset about boner?

Posted by: jpfterps | February 26, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Down arrow? Here's a new 4 straight in the ACC and 9 of 11 and you are headed in the wrong direction, according to Lunardi.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 26, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

jpfterps, who wouldn't be upset about a dead boner? Though I don't think I ever suffered Growing Pains.

Posted by: booger1 | February 26, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

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