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Palm: Terps in good shape, 'still a little work to do'

Maryland will enter tomorrow night's home matchup against Clemson with three RPI top 50 wins and no bad losses, which makes for a pretty solid NCAA tournament resume. But the Terrapins' final four regular season games will determine how crucial the ACC tournament will be to their Big Dance hopes.

According to Jerry Palm of, if Maryland (19-7, 9-3) were to win two of its final four regular season games,* the Terrapins likely would enter the ACC tournament worry-free in terms their NCAA tournament bid.

"It depends on what other teams do, but you figure if you split those four then you're probably okay," Palm said Monday in a telephone interview. "Because you're getting at least one more top 50 win that way. I think they'd be pretty comfortable then."

* Maryland's final four regular season opponents (RPI rank in parenthesis): vs. Clemson (No. 35), at Virginia Tech (No. 45), vs. Duke (No. 2), at Virginia (No. 108).

Palm said there remain a few detriments to Maryland's NCAA tournament resume: 1) The Terrapins are under .500 against RPI top 100 teams (5-7), and 2) They don't possess what Palm called a "high-quality win."

Palm defined a high-quality win as a victory over an opponent ranked in the RPI top 25. He said those two components are not necessarily essential, but if Maryland is aiming to take as much pressure off of itself as possible entering the ACC tournament, they'd be bullet points that would be nice to offer the NCAA tournament selection committee.

As for the ACC, which many observers consider is having a down season, Palm said the conference's weakness is reflected in the results of some of Maryland's games.

"You look at the quality of the opponent that they've played, and normally if you're 9-3 in the ACC, we're not talking about needing high-quality wins on your resume," Palm said. But "there aren't any high-quality teams but Duke. So that right there is an indication that the league is down, and that's where it's reflected. I mean, the [NCAA tournament selection] committee isn't sitting there thinking, 'Oh, the [ACC] is down, therefore we need to do something about their teams.' It just shows up on paper that the league is down, and, you know, 9-3 in the ACC isn't what 9-3 usually is. And that just shows up on the resume."

Duke (No. 5) was the only ACC team ranked in the Associated Press top 25 poll this week. Virginia Tech, Maryland, Wake Forest and Clemson each received a varying number of votes.

"I think they're in pretty good shape," Palm said of Maryland's NCAA tournament resume. "There's still a little work to do, but if it were today, obviously, they're comfortably in the middle of the bracket."

By Steve Yanda  |  February 23, 2010; 8:12 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Vasquez earns ACC player of the week honors once again
Next: Catching up with Clemson


Expecting to see them move from "comfortably in the middle of the bracket" towards top five seed.

Beat Clemson.

regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | February 23, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Well, where does that guy Palm come from. He's obviously a GW, Terp and ACC HATER.

Here we have probably to COY and POY on our team and we are 9-3 and in second place in the conference and he is picking our program apart. He's clearly not a real college basketball fan.

And why all the focus on the NCAA Tournament. We have had a great season and will probably win 20 games again this year. The tournament is mostly about luck and politics. GW won't kiss the behinds of those AAU guys, so he has to make do with lesser players. Plus his AD won't give him any support because basketball revenue needs to be spread around. He has developed so many great assistants that they all are recruited away for better jobs where they can kiss the behinds of AAU guys and get the better players...


Posted by: petecard | February 23, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

We'd better not beat Clemson and Duke and lose to Virginia, that's all I'm saying.

Posted by: Lindemann777 | February 23, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I think most on this board would agree with this palm guy.

Terps can't help who they play. And there hasn't been anyone on here saying we should be in the top 25. Or that the ACC is a powerhouse this year. He's looking objectively at the team's record. One argument that I would make is that although we're beating teams who may not be on par with the normal quality of acc, we've been beating them decisively, (particularly at home), with multiple 20 pt wins. No mention of it from Palm, but I would think that should have some bearing on the committee.

Your take, on the otherhand, is based on a perception that this team isn't good enough for you to be happy and that is apparently based on subjective feelings about certain personnel. If you can't be happy about a 9-3 ACC record, some memorable individual achievements, and team that has exceeded expectations this season, then I feel sorry for you and your quest to be "right." Meanwhile the rest of us can appreciate our team and have a optimistic outlook for our squad.

Posted by: JoeMama11 | February 23, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Who cares about our chances to make the tournament at this point. We still have a chance to win the ACC. Let's take care of business this week and we will be facing Duke for the ACC regular season.

Tired of everytime that North Carolina has a down season, the ACC is having a down season. the strength of the ACC has always been the parity from the top team down to the last. We don't need NC to have a strong season. We have the TERPS!

Posted by: WalkRight | February 23, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse


That was a very Poopyesque rant. Are you also getting high and losing a thousand dollars playing internet poker?

Posted by: larry31 | February 23, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

On a serious note:

I agree with Pete that we need to win as many games as possible for the remainder of the season and in the ACC tourney. A 7-10 seed gets the Terps a 1 or 2 seed in the second round. Whereas a 6 seed or better gets you no higher than a 3 seed. I like the Terps chances against most teams seeded 3 or lower, although there are always a few "landmine" teams sprinkled through the seedings that a way better than where they are seeded.

Posted by: larry31 | February 23, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Just think how the team would do if GW was able to get the all Americas like Duke and NC ALWAYS get each year?


Posted by: fearturtle44 | February 23, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

No, Larry, just my attempt at some humor. This guy can say anything he wants and it's okay, but when a Terp says many of the same things we get castigated. What's funny is that some readers like JoeMama'sboy don't get the humor and still insist on forcing their values on everyone else... Garo always brags about his inflated sense of humor, but I fully expect a pithy, bloviating self-righteous response from him too...

Posted by: petecard | February 23, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Fearturtle44 -

Right, because I'd much rather be in UNC's spot than ours right now.

Posted by: CYork1 | February 23, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse


Agreed. Palm seems to have an inflated sense of self-importance.

Question: Thanks to Barno, we are fully aware of your past opinions regarding our favorite Venezuelan with the goofy hair. Do you feel you were too critical or has he improved that much? As of now, I think he deserves the ACC POY award. Still good for 1 or 2 questionable shots per game but those lapses in judgement are eclipsed by a court awareness and b-ball IQ that hasn't existed at MD since Blake.

Posted by: larry31 | February 23, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Larry -

I know personally I have been critical of GV, especially last year. While I didn't think he should turn pro, I thought that he had a loooong way to go if he was going to be a true leader and a player who makes good decisions, especially since in the pros he will have to run the point. I have to say that I think he's improved greatly this season alone. I remember when we lost to Cincy at the end of that game we were down by 10 or 12 with not much time left and GV was jawing with someone (Stevenson?) while he was standing at the free throw line. I'm thinking, hello, jacka$$, just shut your yap and shoot the free throws. I think we have all been able to see for years the potential the Vasquez has; only in the second half this season, IMO, has he learned to let his play speak for him (with the exception of the shimmy, which still makes me cringe). For me, he's a different player than he was even at the beginning of the year. And really, if the Terps give out a most improved player award this season, I think it should go to GV. The progress he's made since Maui has been significant in my eyes.

Posted by: CYork1 | February 23, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Pete you're pretty much spot on. But the Terps are good enough to move up in the seedings at this point and maybe win the ACC. If they can look good in these final games and beat Duk they might move into a 4 seed. Seeding matters in the tourney because low seeds get bounced in the 2nd round by 1s and 2 seeds. So, the Terps should be looking to win the ACC, look good in the Tourney and shoot for a 4 or maybe 5 seed. That would be sweet.

Getting into the tournament is not in question at this point.

Go Terps!!

Posted by: Jaymand | February 23, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse


I wanted others to comment before throwing my opinion out there. I agree with your comments. Pete was generally correct but, a little too critical. GV's play during the conference schedule has been outstanding. Assist to turnover ratio has been very good, as well a total assists and shooting percentage. He leads the team without suffocating the ball like Allen Iverson.

BTW, shout out to JW for opening up the court for GV. JW's offensive presence has really helped balance MD's offense.

Pete's criticisms of LM still hold. He disappears from games on a regular basis, like Terrence Morris used to.

Posted by: larry31 | February 23, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

if Duke is so good according to the experts and ranked number 5 in the country then why is it that they have almost the same record as maryland in the ACC. They still have two losses in the conference to Maryland's 3. If Duke was that much better than the low ACC they would be undefeated and beating teams by 20 a game. so either the ACC isn't that bad or Duke isn't that good. I'll take Duke not being that good. But if you are going to rank them number 5 in the country then you should rank Maryland number 15, because who has Duke beaten really.

Posted by: tony28 | February 23, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Gary could win another 5 national championships and Petecard would still attempt to mock what he calls "FOGs" (fans of Gary).

Fans of Gary Williams. On a Maryland Terrapins blog? Imagine that.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 22, 2010 5:08 PM

Garo has really got an imagination. He has GW hypothetically winning another 5 championships! Now that is funny. Because even I would give him tenure for that. It's getting so bad I might be tempted to kiss his ring if we ever make another regional.... well, probably not.

Seriously, does anyone see one more national championship coming after where we have been? Seriously....

Posted by: petecard | February 22, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I do not have Gary winning 5 more national championships. So in addition to being the moron who thought the team was better off without an 3-time All ACC player, in addition to being the moron who thought the team was better off without Gary Williams, you also have serious reading comprehension issues.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 23, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Tony, great points. I would go on to add that Gtown STILL being ranked 11th in the country is complete joke. They have only won 3 out of their last 7 games for christ's sake. They have lost to lowly scrubs like Rutgers, South Florida, and Old Dominion. We have a better record than they do and have not lost to anyone that bad. Even W&M is a top 100 RPI team.

I don't really care since rankings mean nothing, but the hard-on the voters have for Gtown amazes me. And this is coming from someone who roots for Gtown.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 23, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

You guys think the season is over. Or it's been good enough to confirm the GV is great and GW should be coach for life.

Here is when I will say I was wrong about GV: When the Terps win the ACC or when they reach a Regional. It could still go very badly.



As for GW, how many times do I have to say it? He is a great game coach. He has had a very bad run at recruiting. We have had a very bad run in the tournament. He is the head coach.

I am not ready to make him coach for life. But you can all relax because I am not the one deciding.

I will only say this for myself: I HAVE MUCH HIGHER STANDARDS THAN MANY OF YOU.

Posted by: petecard | February 23, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Garo, do you know the meaning of the word... "hypothetical." The joke is that you would even use the example of 5 championships hypothetically.

Guess you were a Phys Ed major... probably with a concentration in cheerleading and mascot impersonation.

Posted by: petecard | February 23, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Barno -

Posted by: epdaly | February 23, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

You guys think...GV is great and GW should be coach for life.

Posted by: petecard | February 23, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Yes. Most Terps fans do think that. There is a tiny, minute, minority that don't feel this way. But that's just becuase, as you claim, this tiny, fringe, minority "HAVE MUCH HIGHER STANDARDS" than the rest of us. Haaaaaa!

Posted by: Barno1 | February 23, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I rest my case. So glad you have such great company, Garo.

Posted by: petecard | February 23, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

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