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Terps stuck 'in between' after beating Clemson's press

Maryland proved perfectly capable of breaking Clemson's persistent and varied press defenses Sunday night. The real problems arose once the Terrapins crossed mid-court. On Saturday, Coach Gary Williams spoke about one of the residual effects a press defense can have on an opposing offense.

"One of the things you get out of pressure, without stealing the ball, is you take the other team out of their offense," Williams had said. "They come down, they have a decent shot, they take that shot before you really set up in any type of an offense, so if you miss you're probably not going to get the rebound. That's what pressure does; it forces you to play quick and take shots you don't normally take."

That certainly seemed to be the case Sunday, as both teams induced each other into rushing shots and prevented each other from settling into a consistent offensive flow. The Terrapins shot 37.0 percent from the field in the first half and 32.0 percent in the second half. Maryland had entered the game shooting 48.7 percent from the field.

And in fact, many of Maryland's season-high 26 turnovers came about after the Terrapins successfully had beaten Clemson's press.

"We were in between too many times," Williams said Sunday. "In other words, we didn’t attack their pressure hard enough and then we took some shots that weren’t really attacking their pressure," Williams said. "We were kind of in between running a set play and attacking their pressure. They’re the shots that usually get you beat against pressing teams."

By Steve Yanda  |  February 1, 2010; 8:09 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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I think the Terps played unintelligently. Many guys choked. General Greivis needs less talk and more game. Two fouls in three minutes. Milbourne was done on his first attempt of the game (not the first game this has happened). If they press you, go pick and roll; didn't happen. Need to bang it inside more; rarely happened vs. Tigers. The bench was 3 of 13. Padgett has to play more. Shot 88% from the line. That's good. Gotta stop leaving road wins on the table though. Better mental focus and respect of opponents please gentlemen.

Posted by: Realness1 | February 1, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Real -

Good call on the pick and roll. Back door is the way to beat a team like Clemson. They hurried and played without focus. The saving grace was that Clemson couldn't hit anything either. Possibly the worst PG play this team has had since before Duane Simpkins. How many consecutive possessions ended thanks to bad passes by the PGs? Good call ont the FT%. We needed to see a sustained uptick there.

Disagree with Petecard (on previous post)that GW needs to go. Think the game is an aberation and that the team will correct its course after FL State. That said, this is the second road ACC game that the team let slip (much like many of the passes yesterday) through its hands.

Nice win by Gtown this weekend however.

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | February 1, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Must beat Fla St. Gtown dominated. I think MD is more athletic than Duke and think we can beat them at least once if the boys focus and execute.

Posted by: Realness1 | February 1, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

HGR, Clemson was waiting to get pounded by UMD for most of the game it seemed.

Posted by: Realness1 | February 1, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The point guards just weren't making any adjustments. Vasquez was freelancing when he was running the point, and Hayes was just too passive, and when he did try to make something happen, he was forcing the issue. The did run a few back-door plays and pick-and-rolls, but they were not coming through the general flow of the offense. There were a lot of matchup problems with Tanner Smith on Vasquez who could match him in both height and athleticism, and Young was very pesky defensively on both Bowie and Hayes. It was a shame the Terps were not able to capitalize on such a strong defensive showing, but they were let down last night by their senior, who failed to make any significant adjustments throughout the game.

Posted by: Russtinator | February 1, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Vasquez did not play well last night, but the loss should not be placed totally on him. Clemson could not hit a layup, (probably missed about 20). Clemson went for six minute stretches without scoring, (Maryland also). Tough game to watch.
Everyone on the Maryland Terps starting 5 should understand they have to contribute, especially when the team they are playing is struggling to score. The UMD Terps don't have a lot of wiggle room. Better start winning some games on the road or probably NIT bound.

Posted by: Hlynchmaster | February 1, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

"MD will not be a major factor again until GW hangs em up and takes his rocking chair"

I know some people on here think you shouldn't be allowed to criticize statements like this, but I'll do it anyway. MD will not be a major factor until Gary Williams hangs em up? Really?? We are a half game out of first place in one of the best conferences in the country (and may be the best, top to bottom) thanks to him.

The ACC's RPI is 3rd among conferences but they likely will move up to 1st or 2nd by the end of the year (they've been in the top 2 by the end of the year for more than a decade).

If MD makes the tourney this year it will be the 14 time in 17 many teams in the country can say that?

Not a major factor? Yeah lets fire Gary and get Dave Leitao to coach the team, then let's see how much of a factor we are.

I truly do not understand what it is that makes some people constantly demand others be fired (or demand they retire)...especially those that have succeeded at their jobs beyond the wildest expectations. I honestly think it says a helluva lot more about you than it does about them.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 1, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

What an ugly game, period.

Posted by: SirPelleas | February 1, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse


I have learned to ignore these types of comments. Some folks either have unrealistic expectations or will never get it.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 1, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

As for the game last night, maybe because you could see it coming from a mile away I'm not that upset about it. Clemson, at home, desperately in need of a win after losing 3 straight...MD, alone atop the ACC to the surprise of many, was primed for a let up. Then you have Vasquez making comments which make it seem like he's taking Clemson lightly.

Yes it was sloppy and yes we had our chances, and yes the refs were really just awful on both sides of the court...but we weren't "supposed" to win this game. We were nearly 2 to 1 underdogs and we have traditionally had a lot of problems playing down in Clemson.

The FSU game is big. If we win, we are 5-2 and primed to be in contention for the ACC title the whole season. If we lose, we are 4-3 and will absolutely need to beat a desperate Tar Heels team on Sunday to have any hope of contending in the ACC.

Irrelevant side note: we have done very well the last 2 times we've played on Super Bowl Sunday, vs NC State 4 years ago and top 10 Duke in 97, winning both.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 1, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Currently an 11 seed according to Lunardi (this was updated today).

Posted by: Barno1 | February 1, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Win Thursday and all is well.

Lose, and, well, um, let's hope we don't lose.

Posted by: jpfterps | February 1, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

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