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What Tucker's shot does for him, the Terps going forward

Let's begin with the obvious: junior guard Cliff Tucker's three-pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining Saturday afternoon provided Maryland a win over Georgia Tech, extended Maryland's home record in ACC play this season to 6-0 and brought Maryland one step closer to all but securing an NCAA tournament bid.

Saturday's game marked the first of four straight contests* in which Maryland will face teams that rank in top 50 in RPI, which means the Terrapins will have several more chances to earn quality wins before the regular season is done. The Yellow Jackets are ranked No. 32 in the RPI standings, according to Jerry Palm at collegerpi.com. Yesterday's win over Georgia Tech gives Maryland three wins over teams with top 50 RPIs this season (Florida State, who the Terrapins have defeated twice, is ranked No. 40 in the RPI).

* The RPI rankings of Maryland's next three opponents: Clemson (No. 34), Virginia Tech (No. 44) and Duke (No. 3).

On an individual level, the Terrapins hope Tucker's shot will go a long way toward boosting his confidence. That word always seems to come up when discussing Tucker's game. Did he have confidence on that given day or not? Tucker said he's trying to work on improving his confidence, on making that a more stable component of his game. But he also admitted to being frustrated throught a first half Saturday when he played just three minutes. Tucker said Maryland assistants Rob Ehsan and Keith Booth implored him not to let that frustration mount, as he has in the past.

Tucker finished with eight points in nine minutes. On the season, Tucker is averaging 5.9 points in 15.3 minutes per game.

"It does wonders for a player to make a shot like that, but hopefully for Cliff down the stretch now he's a very confident player," Coach Gary Williams said. "That's what you want from the shot. And for our team to know -- we've got good guys. They're experienced basketball players. They understand how that works. That could have been Georgia Tech's game obviously, just like we got it, so we feel very fortunate. But at the same time, you need some breaks at times during the year. We got one there. But we played well enough to be in a position to get that break."

By Steve Yanda  |  February 21, 2010; 11:29 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Why Gary Williams tossed off his jacket

Comments

Large win! Keep it up boys!

Posted by: Realness1 | February 21, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Steve - Did Gary have anything to say about the officiating yesterday? I know I'm slightly biased as a Maryland fan, but the refs seemed horrible.

Posted by: ICBomber | February 21, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

ICBomber, I agree with your comment about the refs, but coaches almost never complain about the officiating. Besides being frowned upon by the league, refs have a memory. You'll get those refs again and they will have their revenge.

Posted by: booger1 | February 21, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Living near Raleigh, NC and being a Terp's fan is awesome. I don't get to see all of the games here and there isn't a radio broadcast but thank God for RAYCOM. The Ga. Tech game ending was like many I have seen over the years....I am 65 and the excitement remains. I started being a fan the day lefty was named coach and have seen the good with the "not-so-good"! Another thrilling finish....BTW: I still scream at the TV!! Gary has impressed me with his record as a teacher and here he is again with a team picked "down here" to finish in the lower half of the ACC.....RFLMAO! Thanks Gary and other all other Terp's fans for the cheers and the memories I will take to the grave. It's a wonderful thing to be a fan...but it's another whole story being a fan in NC!!!! GO TERPS!!!

Posted by: AliveStillKickin | February 21, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

was at the game, the whole crowd felt that the refs were awfull

Posted by: babbott69 | February 21, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Tucker is the man, what a shot. My 9 year old son and I jumped around in our man-cave like...well...9 year olds.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 21, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

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