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Three things to watch: Jordan Williams, Vasquez and Howell

Later tonight, Maryland will take on North Carolina State at RBC Center in what will be the Terrapins' third game in five days. The Wolfpack, on the other hand, last played on Saturday. Maryland has not often showed signs of mental or physical fatigue this season, and it will be interesting to see whether any such signs reveal themselves tonight. Here are a few other things to keep track of during tonight's contest:

1) Jordan Williams. The freshman forward's primary task tonight will be to help limit the effectiveness of N.C. State forward Tracy Smith, a player who Coach Gary Williams said Monday would be considered one of the best front-court players in the ACC were it not for the Wolfpack's poor record (2-9 in conference play). Smith ranks ninth in the ACC in scoring (16.3 ppg), fourth in rebounding (7.8 rpg) and first in field goal percentage (50.0 percent) in conference play. But Jordan Williams did well to contain Smith when the two met on Jan. 23 at Comcast Center. Smith tallied 18 points and 10 rebounds that night, but much of that production was back-loaded after the Terrapins already had taken firm control of the game.

2) Greivis Vasquez. Some of you may remember the, um, rude manner in which the N.C. State fans treated Vasquez last season at RBC Center. Vasquez responded with a strong performance then (33 points) and likely will be a little more amped up to play in front of those fans again tonight. Vasquez is coming off a 30-point performance Monday night against Virginia. The Terrapins might not need him to score that many points to be successful against N.C. State tonight, but they'll certainly need him to be involved in the flow of the offense. In ACC play, Vasquez ranks second in the conference in scoring (21.0 ppg) and second in assists (6.4 apg), as well.

3) Richard Howell. N.C. State's freshman forward has averaged 7.4 points and 6.1 rebounds in the past 10 games. Howell, a 6-foot-8, 266-pound reserve forward, tallied 10 points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench at Comcast Center on Jan. 23. Howell might be the Wolfpack's second best front-court player behind Smith. He's not developed to the point where he could take over if needed to, but he's someone who could quietly hurt an opposing team over the course of game given the amount of attention said opponent had to devote to guarding Smith.

By Steve Yanda  |  February 17, 2010; 2:13 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Maryland earns 67-58 comeback win over N.C. State

Comments

Gary going for his 21st win in the last 27 attempts vs NC State, including 9th out of last 12 down in Raleigh.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 17, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Last time we played NC State outside of Comcast Center was in the ACC tourney last year, which led one of our esteemed fellow bloggers, Professor Petecard, to declare the following:

"Gary should use the game against NC State to get ready for the NIT."

following the win, this was what Professor Petecard had to say:

"Barno, We ARE toast. You think beating NC State means anything? Don't bother to make your MSG reservations. They won't get that far in the NIT."

Then, following our bid to the tourney on Selection Sunday, this was what Professor Petecard had to say:

"making the NCAA is not a worthy goal in and of itself"

The professor then spent the off season praying Vasquez would go pro and Gary Williams would get booted from the school. Anyone who disagrees with him is simply an idiot or just not as big a fan as the Professor. Because, you see, he just wants more from his team than you or I.


Posted by: Barno1 | February 17, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Hysterical that you remember that stuff.

Maybe more hysterical though is that the "prof petecard" is still around the Terps Insider a year later.

Most of the time you can say whatever you want on a blog and no one will be held accountable to those words.

But on the Terp Insder, there's accountability!

Posted by: 4stover | February 17, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Petecard,

You may want to admit you were wrong about Gary and Vasquez because, Barno is whoopin' your butt.

"Stop the fight!!"

"Throw the damn towel!!"

Posted by: Section505203 | February 17, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

And Hugh, you remember Aaron passing Ruth? Vividly?

Posted by: jpfterps | February 17, 2010 2:45 PM

uh yeah. I'm 45 years old. Back in the day when there were three networks and channels 5 and 20, and baseball was America's sport. Some fan ran on the field as he rounded the bases and became an instant celebrity. Additionally, he was with Atlanta - ground zero for the civil rights movement. He never was anywhere the player that Babe Ruth must have been in his day - he just played forever - but in a position as it was the NL. Indeed, I'm not sure he would have started at 1B for a lot of the teams in MLB at the time. The nation was watching, kind of like the first couple of moon landings, the Mark Spitz Olympics of 1972 (with the Israeli team being held captive by the PLO). I was a city kid, so watching a ton of TV was what we did. As a kid I liked him, but he was never near the star for me that say that many an Oriole. The thing is, the HR watch started two years before he broke it.

Some guy in Japan (Suduroh Oh, I think) borke the record a few years later. baseball went way on the backburner for me in the 1990s. Still an Os fan though.

Also, note that the Bullets (at best) were typically on tape delay but the MD games were always on local TV. Which is why you see wuite a few of us older guys who are far more into the college game than the NBA. Seriously, the ABA games were on tape delay after midnight. When I was a kid we used to take naps so we could wake up later and watch Dr. J. I still have my ABA basketball. No ESPN, no george Michael's Sports Machine, just Warner Wolf at the end of channel 9 news. But Gordon Peterson was there. Ahh, the rambling of an old - HEY I'm middle aged - dude.

regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 17, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Apu to Homer when Homer takes a job at the Kwikee Mart:

"Now go change the dates on all of the dairy products."

One of Marge's sisters to Bart when Lisa was a baby:

"The older they get, the cuter they ain't"

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 17, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Just to respond to HGR, if Vasquez averages 18.0 a game and the Terps play 4 postseason games (ACC + NCAA tourney) he will catch Len Bias as the team's second all time leading scorer which is very possible considering he is averaging 18.5 and 21 in ACC games. He is also currently second in school history in assists only behind Blake. (per insidemdsports.com)

Posted by: elowe2 | February 17, 2010 1:05 PM |

Thanks elowe. Before today I thought he had no chance to catch Bias. Catching Blake is impossible. Catching Dixon, highly unlikely, but if he did, it would mean deep runs in both tourneys.

Look, I'm the first to admit that I've complained about the guy in the past. I stand corrected.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 17, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

If anyone (like me) needs it, game tonight is on here:

http://www.atdhe.net/index.html

Just scroll down to the 9pm listings and click the MD/NC State link.


Also, Hugh, you wanna hate me more? Not only was/is it around 80 today, not only was there some eye candy at the pool today, but also when I went for a job around the neighborhood, some residents decided in the past day or so it'd be a good time to cut their grass so as I was jogging I was able to enjoy that lovely fresh-cut-grass smell as well as enjoy all the blooming flowers. Seems like spring is here.

Finally,

"Son, a woman is like a beer. They smell good, they look good, you’d step over your own mother just to get one! But you can’t stop at one. You wanna drink another woman!"

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 17, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

that should say jog, not job. d'oh!

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | February 17, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Copied and pasted from the media guide so we can all do our own math.

Rk. Pts. Player (Years)
1. 2,269 Juan Dixon (1999-02)
2. 2,149 Len Bias (1983-86)
3. 2,058 Albert King (1978-81)
4. 2,017 Adrian Branch (1982-85)
5. 2,015 John Lucas (1973-76)
6. 1,969 GREIVIS VASQUEZ (2006-**)

Over/under - I say GV passes Lucas and Branch against GaTech. Two games. Really had no idea he was this close. Those are ALL great names on that list.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 17, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Yes, last year was a great, great, great year. We made the tournament and won ONE game. Oh, but no Sweet 16. But a year for the ages.

Now this year has been fun and we have beaten every team at the bottom of the league. Who have we lost to: Duke, WF, Clemson. We have beaten FSU twice, and they are the only wins we have against teams that have a chance to make the tournament.

And all of this has Garo and his Koolaid drinkers ready to take over the f*ing world, declare GV the player of the year nationally and the number 1 pick in the NBA draft. You guys just don't get it. And what's funny, you can't tolerate criticism from those of us who want mor ehtan mediocrity.

In Garo's Jamestown the koolaid is so sweet. But if you don't drink it, those that do will never let you be a fan and say what you think.... that is without attack after attack because you don't chant their chants.

Oh, Lord Gary, please save us and help us get to the dance...just to the dance... that's all we want. And even if we don't get there, or don't win a game, it doesn't matter... because we have you lord Gary!

Posted by: petecard | February 17, 2010 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Petecard -

You know I'm a Grey Goose drinker or preferably El Diamante de Ciello or Patron. I am at the age where I can afford to (and can't afford not to) pay for the stuff that doesn't hurt the next day. No KoolAid for me.

Not declaring GV the player of the year. Not sure that he would make all-american at this point. Am truly surprised that this kid will likely surpass Bias as the schools second leading scorer. Having looked at the number, I do respect what the kid has brought to the program. Still the shimmy still gets on my nerves, especially when my kids are doing it.

Pete is right, we need to get wins against quality teams and are heading into a stretch of games (after tonight) against quality opponents. We've beaten up the patsies and one contender. Can't get trapped tonight. And we must win against Ga Tech and Clemson to close out the third quarter of the season ranked.

The fact is, we could end up losing in the first round of both tournaments and GV could still be our second leading all-time scorer. Which would suck. I mean losing in the first game of both tournaments...am indifferent to GV passing Bias.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 17, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

So wait, the MD game isn't being shown until after the Wiz game is over? Really?

Posted by: CYork1 | February 17, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Not in HD till after the Wiz.

Posted by: CYork1 | February 17, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I think Petecard makes a point as well...

Simply making the tournament doesn't cut it anymore.

Posted by: SirPelleas | February 17, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Gotta say this team is pretty well conditioned and never stops fighting. Dominating the second half. My goodness.

Posted by: fushezzi | February 17, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link P_McP. I went to 4 sports bars tonight, 3 of which told me they had the game--nope. finding the game online was a pleasant surprise.

Posted by: PeteinAZ | February 17, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Phew.

Posted by: HughGRection | February 17, 2010 11:00 PM | Report abuse

GV had 26, JW 19, AB had a key 8 during the comeback. Overcame subpar (scoring) games by EH (what happened?? Never seen him that bad off), SM, LM, and CT. Never expectmuch in terms of scoring from DG. No chance to go deep. I thought blow-out, but once again Russtinator's prediction was better thought out and accurate. Go Terps - Beat GaTech. Nice effort in the second half - especially on defense. Seemed that the team got stronger as the game played on.

Watched it on atdhe as the family was watching idol. Thanks Poopy. Your weather report is forgiven.

regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 17, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Petecard, I can't help myself. 2 (measly) ACC wins to go to avoid bubble drama. However, agree that just making the dance will not cut it for this team.

Team showed a ton of resolve coming back in this one. It seemed that GV was making all the right decisions (one quick missed 3 pointer not withstanding) during the comeback. Winning on the road (without bringing the "A" game) in the ACC is always a good thing. Looks like he has a great shot at passing Lucas and Branch this weekend on the all-time scoring list.

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 17, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Great minutes out of AB and Dino tonight. No way we win that game without those two. AB is my game MVP tonight

I'm starting to worry EH and LM can only score at home. Neither can hit a shot on the road.

And Greives, what can you say. Dude is maddening, but he's a hel! of a player.

Great to escape with a win. That is what good teams do, win despite not playing their best game. Encouraging sign out of Raleigh.

Beat G Tech

Posted by: jpfterps | February 17, 2010 11:20 PM | Report abuse

...and that was a pretty hostile atmosphere. the NC State fans bring it.

Lowe was seriously outcoached by GW in the second half as well. JW seems to be improving every game out. Great hands.

You are right jpf - AB was clutch. Not sure why he was not kept on the floor b/c he was doing everything.

I take back what I said about JP beating out DG for the starting job next year.

Lets hope the rest of the team rebounds for the next few home games. GaTech and Clemson are tough teams and we'll need our "A+" to beat either of them.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | February 17, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I thought our win tonight was very similar to Duke's win. Both teams played lousy on the road to an inferior opponent in the first half, then out-couched, out-hustled, and out-executed that same opponent in the second half.

Of course, Duke fans and the media will talk about how this shows resolve by their team. Maryland "fans" will b***h about how the winningest coach in the team's history can't recruit. One of these choices seems oddly off-base.

Nice 2nd half by AB, not sure we win the game without him hitting those big shots.

Save the Date--Wed March 3 Comcast Center 9 pm. ACC Regular Season Champion will be decided.

Posted by: PeteinAZ | February 17, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

What did happen to Eric Hayes? I couldn't watch the game and when I saw his stat line I was worried that he'd gotten hurt.

Posted by: acebojangles | February 17, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Tough, gutsy win by the Terps tonight. I knew it would be a struggle, but had confidence my boys would get the W.

These next 2 games are basically must-wins because the last 3 are going to be very tough.

Posted by: TerpFan2001 | February 18, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

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