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Maryland, Florida State expect few surprises second time around

If Florida State didn't know before its meeting with Maryland on Jan. 10 that the Terrapins were an undersize bunch that still possessed the ability to rebound well, took care of the ball (most of the time) pretty well and was capable of shooting with precision, the Seminoles certainly know it now heading into tonight's rematch against the Terrapins.

And if Maryland didn't know before defeating the Seminoles by nine points nearly a month ago that Florida State relies on its defense to make up for its lackluster offensive production, possessed a sizable front court that (typically) rebounds well and struggles mightily with ball security, well, the Terrapins certainly are more aware of those points now.

Florida State is the first of five ACC opponents Maryland will face twice this season (Duke, Virginia, Clemson and N.C. State are the others). On Wednesday, Coach Gary Williams was asked how different it is preparing strategy to face a team a second time around.

"I think the second time you play anybody, and this is true for them, execution becomes really big because you do have a pretty good feel of how they play, how we play," Williams said. "And so there’s not many surprise plays. There’s not many plays you can run where you catch them off guard because they haven’t seen it before. Every team has video of every game we’ve played now, so they analyze that like we analyze it, and you kind of know what to expect. There might be a new wrinkle or something that you put in for a particular game, but it’s about how well you screen. It’s about the timing in your offense. That’s when you become better, or, you know, teams are going to get you the second time around."

By Steve Yanda  |  February 4, 2010; 8:12 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Comments

wow. I was just looking at the Redskin's board, at a completely useless waste of cyberspace on whether CC#47 should be traded, and noticed one thing. This board is far more civil than the Skins board.

Seriously, that board has folks threatening each other, racist taunts with accusations of racism in the same post, and general nastiness all around with none of the corresponding humor. Ok, old (f* it I am MIDDLE-AGED dammit) HGR is going on one of his verbose rants again...back to the point of the post.

We beat the 'Noles handily on our turf with their big man in early foul trouble. After my temporary expectations and statements of supreme confidence prior to the Clemson game, I am going back to humble hope and more critical analysis.

MD needs to break out of the funk they had at Clemson and quickly. They cannot (and won't) underestimate Fl State at home. This will be close and hard fought, but I am thinking that MD will pull away in the second with holding off a rally to finish out the game by hitting their FTs. I think we return to scoring in the 70s as fl State will have watched tapes of the Clemson game and will be far more physical than the last meeting. I predict 72-65 MD.

6 ACC wins to go.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 4, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I just went looking to see the fan reaction from the Hoya's stunning loss to USF and could not find a Georgetown Insider. Seriously, the WaPo doesn;t have a Georgetown Insider? Please let me know if the middle aged guy just needs to look a little harder.

Regards -
-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 4, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

GW just sent me an email with the following appeal:

"I ask that you consider supporting the Terrapins by purchasing tournament tickets today and joining us in Greensboro for 4 days of exciting college basketball." GW

Now having been a alum for many, many years, this is the first time I can remember such an appeal. It says to me that ticket sales are NOT brisk. They are also making hotel rooms available on a "limited basis."

Here is my point: This tournament will probably die if the NCAA Tournament expands to the anticipated 96 teams. That will basically render the ACC Tournament meaningless because all of the bubble teams will get in. And what is interesting is the Gary is a strong advocate for the expansion. Rather ironic.

Posted by: petecard | February 4, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Pete,

Very interesting. Here is my take:

GW has been very consistent in his desire for tournament expansion. Obviously, it would help his job stability, but when you have a team like George Mason going to the Final Four and 15th seeds routinely beating 2 seeds, there is a legit argument to expand.

GW has always detested the ACC tournament as long as his team was comfortably off the bubble. Last year was one of the few times that GW was glad to play in the ACC tourney. He is most likely towing the ACC company line in his appeal to you to buy tickets. Tickets sales are down, no doubt, due to the economy.

I agree totally that a 96-team tourney de-emphasizes the ACC tourney. That, combined with the unbalanced regular season schedule de-emphasizes the ACC (and all major conferences) in general. If a 96-team tourney was scheduled for this year, we would be competing against William & Mary, and Cincinnati as much as Fl St and Clemson.

I am not totally for or against expansion. Too many pros and cons.

Your thoughts?

Posted by: larry31 | February 4, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Petecard,

I don't agree at all that the ACC tournament will die if the NCAA tournament expands, I think that's a ridiculous exaggeration.

-The ACC tournament has been around for more than 50 years, and each time the NCAAs expanded, the ACC tourney didn't die. In fact, some would argue the ACC tourney became bigger and bigger.

-Just because some otherwise bubble team might not necessarily need to win a game or two in the ACCs to get into the tourney if it expands, doesn't mean they won't still need wins to shore up their bids and help their seeding.

-Just because the tournament may expand doesn't mean the teams with no shot at getting an at large bid won't still be busting their *sses off to win their league tourneys and get the automatic bids.

-Just because the tourney might expand doesn't mean the top teams won't be still be positioning for top seeds by winning their respective league tourneys. Etc, etc, etc

And I know this is very difficult for certain people to understand, but ticket sales are down at sporting events across the country. This is what happens when a "recession" hits our economy. It is not a Maryland basketball trend, nor is it a Maryland football trend, it's a nationwide trend. One of the first things families cut out of their expenses when times are tough are luxury items, such as going to sporting events. I know, I know, this is very complicated stuff.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 4, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Barno, as usual your comment is so snarky it isn't worth a reply. You just can't help it.

Larry, there are so many reasons I am against expansion and not one reason I am for it.

I covered this sometime ago in another post responding to the session GW had with Mike Wise. In brief:

1. It will not help pick a more worthy national champion. A 16 seed has never won a game.
2. It will produce mostly meaningless early games in the tournament.
3. It will make all the fun people have in pools much harder to administer.
4. It will render the regular season much less meaningful.
5. Conference tournaments will mean much less and the major conference tournaments may become obsolete.
6. It gives coaches one less very meaningful performance metric.

Unfortunately, because TV money is driving this, I think the horse has already left the barn.... and we will all be sorry.

But this is just too complicated for me! :)

Posted by: petecard | February 4, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Sorry Petecard if I hurt your feelings, I take back that part about this being hard for some people to understand. That was just so snarky, and way worse than your comment on the previous thread questioning the intelligence of our basketball players. My apologies.

As for your last post, I can't think of a single one of your points that has any merit to it so let me just say I respectfully disagree with every point you made. I recommend re-reading the Gary-Mike Wise interview and focusing specifically on the part where Gary said all of these arguments came up the last time we expanded, and well, none of them proved to be true.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 4, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Pete,

My counter-argument about the lame results from 16 seeds is that these are all automatic bids who would be seeded even lower if the tournament was expanded. And I don't think you are implying that we should eliminate the weak teams that received auotmaitc bids. Each time the tournament has expanded, it has improved. I am ignoring that ridiculous play-in game they have now...It really should be played between two at-large big conference teams.

That said, maybe with an expanded field, the ACC will go back to a round robin ACC schedule. I would sacrifice the ACC tourney for a return to a balnced regular season schedule...talk about placing a new empahasis on the regular season!

I agree that expansion is as good as done, especially with the influence of TV. I am just proposing an idea that makes conference play more relevant.

Thoughts?

Posted by: larry31 | February 4, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Larry, how do we go back to a round robin style with 12 teams? That's 22 games. Are we just going to do away with our non-conference schedule? Granted, I'm sure plenty of people could do without games against Longwood, but I just don't see it happening.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 4, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Barno,

Do away with the conference tourney which would allow for two more regular season games. Reduce the non-conference schedule by 4 games, which will have less importance with a 96-team tourney anyway. You now have 6 extra conference games without expanding the season.

Let me be clear: I am not dead against the ACC tourney. My proposal is just a compromise with the intention of emphasizing ACC conference play and the ACC conference in general. Personally, I like the idea of all those Carolina schools having to trek it up to Boston once a year.

Posted by: larry31 | February 4, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

An expanded NCAA tourney does water down the ACC tourney. Fact.

Expanding to 96 teams sucks. Opinion.

Making Tobacco Road trek to Boston every year. Brilliant.

Posted by: jpfterps | February 4, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Jfpterps,

how does expanding the NCAA water down the ACC if it didn't water it down the last few times the tournament was expanded?

And how is that a fact, not an opinion? I think you misunderstand the meaning of the word fact. A fact is something that can't be disputed, that is universally acknowledged. An opinion is quite the opposite.

I think it is your opinion that the NCAA tournament's expansion waters down the ACC tournament, but that's a far from a fact.

Posted by: mikegt67 | February 4, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Well put Mikegt. Definitely an opinion, and an unfounded one at that.

These arguments have been used before against expansion and they always proved to be baseless. They will again.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 4, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

An expanded NCAA tourney does water down the ACC tourney. Fact.-- No,general consensus, but I agree with the general consensus.

Expanding to 96 teams sucks. Opinion.

Making Tobacco Road trek to Boston every year. Brilliant.

Posted by: jpfterps | February 4, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Jfpterps,

how does expanding the NCAA water down the ACC if it didn't water it down the last few times the tournament was expanded?

When MD lost to NC St to decide which of the best two teams in the country would be the eventual national champion in the NCAA tournament, the ACC tournament was obviously very significant. Each time it has expanded, there is less importance associated with the ACC tournament. At this rate, it will have as much importance as the NFL's Pro Bowl.

Posted by: larry31 | February 4, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

When MD lost to NC St to decide which of the best two teams in the country would be the eventual national champion in the NCAA tournament, the ACC tournament was obviously very significant. Each time it has expanded, there is less importance associated with the ACC tournament. At this rate, it will have as much importance as the NFL's Pro Bowl.

Posted by: larry31 | February 4, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Larry31,

By that same token, there were no such things as "bubble teams" back when MD lost to NC State. So the only significance of the tournament back then was winning it all, if you won a game or two, that meant absolutely nothing.

Today, there are usually teams in every major conference in the country that are "on the bubble" come conference tournament time. A win or two or sometimes even three is needed to secure an at large bid--so the expansion of the tournament which created bubble teams and will create even more bubble teams actually has made the conference tournaments that much more important for those teams.

Watering it down? Not at all.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 4, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

This is a great point by Barno and entirely logical. More bubble teams, more teams playing for their lives in the conference tournaments. Against expanding the NCAAs to 96 at this point. but a great point about the relevance of the also-rans for the conference tourneys prior to expansion.

That said, more than wanting to see the Carolina teams travel north to Boston, would rather see BC return to the BE where it belongs and take in a WVU or other school from the region. But that is a whole different discussion.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 4, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Barno (who is GW and it's good to know GW reads this blog) is using his usual false sense of knowing everything to win this argument... in his head...

My opinion is that the previous expansions of the NCAA field (with the exception of the play-in game) were needed and have served college basketball well.

Some nominal expansion (i.e. 4 at-large play-in games) might be okay, but this would require those teams to play an extra game and in the larger scheme of things add little value to the overall tournament.

But 31 extra teams would create an extra round for all but the 32 highest seeds. That seems unfair, especially at the end of a long regular season. At the conclusion of those games (between seeds 33 and 96) we get another set of games where half the teams have either made and extra trip or had to stay on the road longer than the teams they are playing. All of those teams will then have LESS chance of winning the tournament or reaching the later rounds than they have now. And why?... to give 32 mostly undeserving teams a chance to play in a tournament they have virtually no chance of winning.

With the prospect of playing that extra game, many teams will be able to do what the Colts did this year in the NFL: take it easy in a couple of meaningless games. Everything gets watered down, especially the conference tournaments. A great tradition (and source of revenue for the conferences) is put in jeopardy.

So here is the question: Are we going to go through all of this just to place 32 extra, non-competitive teams in the field?

Answer: Probably, because of TV money and some other even less-worthy reasons.

Oh ya, and GW's (Barno's) stated reason: It gives the kids a chance to play in the tournament.

Give me a break!

Posted by: petecard | February 4, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

If this happens and the Terps are still a bubble team than it'd definitely be time for Gary to hang up his coaching whistle.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 4, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Petecard, you know we really aren't as far apart on this issue as you apparently think. I don't favor 32 more teams. I favor expansion, but for only a few more teams at the current moment. I feel some kind of expansion is necessary. To me it seems every year there are 4-6 worthy teams that get left out.

By the way, I don't really see how your constant vehement opinions on every single subject on this board exemplify how you yourself aren't a know-it-all, but hey it's cool with me that you call me that--I got no probs with it.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 4, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

The problem is they are headed toward a major expansion.

Posted by: petecard | February 4, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

We don't know what they are headed for. I'd be surprised if we got 32 more bids. I'd be shocked actually.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 4, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

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