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NCAA Tournament 2010: Starters could see increased playing time

Four of Maryland's five starters averaged more than 28 minutes per game during the regular season*, and those averages likely will go up once the Terrapins begin NCAA tournament play Friday night against Houston.

Maryland Coach Gary Williams said Tuesday that while bench play remains important during the postseason, the circumstances in and around the games often necessitate a team's starters playing more minutes.

* Greivis Vasquez (33.7 minutes per game), Eric Hayes (30.6), Landon Milbourne (29.7), Sean Mosley (28.4) and Jordan Williams (24.4)

"We're not in a four-month season now," Gary Williams said. "Guys can play, especially with the TV timeouts that are a little bit longer in the NCAA tournament. You know, bench is important if you get in foul trouble, but in terms of conditioning, this time of year you're in great shape and guys can play long stretches, you know, a lot of minutes out of the 40."

In case you're curious, here are the minutes per game averages of Maryland's top four reserves: Junior forward Dino Gregory (20.3 minutes per game), junior guard Adrian Bowie (15.1), junior guard Cliff Tucker (15) and freshman forward James Padgett (9.5).

Gregory's playing time likely won't be cut too much, simply because Maryland will need him to provide some front-court depth. It will be interesting to see how much the minutes of Bowie, Tucker and Padgett drop off in order to get the starters more time on the court. As Gary Williams said, a lot of that likely will be determined by how well the starters can stay out of foul trouble.

By Steve Yanda  |  March 17, 2010; 10:23 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Need to keep Dino, Tucker and AB involved. During the win streak they all played huge roles for the team

Posted by: jpfterps | March 17, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

i think the only takeaway is that JP will see scarce minutes. The odd thing is, the first run to the final four (2001), we saw McCall (the ninth man and not in the regular rotation) getting first half minutes at the dance. The games do have too many time-outs - actually too many commercials - so I suspect GW knows what he is talking about.


Posted by: HughGRection | March 17, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

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