Consistency the goal as Terps square off against Virginia
At the moment, not much distinguishes the teams that comprise the thick middle of the ACC standings. Five squads have three losses in conference play, including Maryland (12-7, 2-3) and Virginia (11-8, 2-3), who meet Thursday night in Charlottesville.
Clemson, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech, knotted at 3-3 in league play, are the others.
Thursday’s victor in Charlottesville will rise to .500 in the ACC. Most seasons, that’s good enough to warrant consideration for an NCAA tournament bid. Probably not, this season.
So, like every remaining ACC game, Thursday’s is a must-win for the Terps.
Coach Gary Williams is keeping his projected starting line-up under wraps but hinting that he feels he has hit on a group that will stick, with freshman Terrell Stoglin at point guard and senior Adrian Bowie freed up a bit more to shoot. Stoglin scored 13 points in Maryland’s 79-77 victory over Clemson. Bowie has scored double figures in seven of the Terps’ last eight games.
“The challenge is just getting your best rotation out there,” said Williams, who has used five different starting combinations in the last nine games. “What you try to do is match what you think the other team is going to do in terms of who they sub. The other part is: We would like consistency. We’re looking for consistency. And we’re starting to get it from more areas than we were earlier in the season. So you might not see as many [lineup] changes as you’ve seen previously.”
As for Virginia, Williams expressed high regard for the Cavaliers’ success in distributing the ball, as well as their free-throw shooting and 3-point shooting (third in the ACC, at 38.8 percent)—areas in which the Terps have struggled. Virginia has done well compensating for the loss of leading scorer and rebounder, senior forward Mike Scott, to an ankle injury.
“They’re very unselfish, the way they run their offense,” Williams said of the Cavaliers. “They maximize each possession with the best possible shot. You don’t see many bad shots coming out of them.”
| January 27, 2011; 9:57 AM ET
Categories: Gary Williams, Men's basketball | Tags: Adrian Bowie, Gary Williams, Maryland basketball, Terrell Stoglin
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