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Posted at 12:22 PM ET, 01/17/2011

Greenberg: Maryland 'as efficient an offensive team as we've played'

By Liz Clarke

With Duke its lone representative in the national polls, the ACC has lost a good bit of its luster in the view of college basketball analysts and NCAA bracket prognosticators.

The league’s coaches argue that the slide is more perception than reality.

Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg says there’s more parity nationwide. N.C. State’s Sidney Lowe and Maryland’s Gary Williams point out that lots of ACC teams are young this year and will be much improved by the end of this season and in coming ones.

“Everyone wants to point to the ACC; I don’t think it’s an ACC issue, Greenberg said in a conference call Monday. “For whatever reason, kids aren’t as consistent. Everyone wants to take shots at the ACC.”

Take Maryland’s 74-66 loss at Villanova Saturday, which was the Terps’ fifth defeat to a ranked team this season—all by single digits.

. Said Greenberg: “Losing a road game at Villanova—that’s not embarrassing. The Terps] played their tails off. It was a terrific basketball game, win or lose. ….That doesn’t mean Maryland’s a bad basketball team. It doesn’t mean Maryland is not worthy to be one of the better teams in the country. It just means they made one less play.”

Virginia Tech (11-5, 2-2) travels to Comcast Center Thursday for its first game of the season against Maryland (11-6, 1-2). The Hokies (11-5, 2-2) are coming off a 94-65 rout of Wake Forest Saturday in which they shot a season-high 58.6 percent from the field.

Maryland, Greenberg said, is “as efficient an offensive team as we’ve played.” Other observations from the Hokies’ coach:

On the Terps in general: “They always play to their strengths and get the ball where they want it. Their guards are developing.”

On seniors Dino Gregory and Cliff Tucker: “I’m impressed with how hard Gregory plays [and] the patience and purpose Tucker plays with.”

On senior guard Adrian Bowie: “Bowie may be the most underrated player in the league in terms of how hard he plays and doing exactly what Gary [Williams] wants them to do.”

And sophomore center Jordan Williams: “He’s a terrific player. Got unbelievable hands. Pursues balls out of his area; rebounds out of his area. Has the ability to score over either shoulder. Runs the court hard. A big body. He’s just a terrific player and getting better.”

By Liz Clarke  | January 17, 2011; 12:22 PM ET
Categories:  Gary Williams, Men's basketball  | Tags:  ACC, Gary Williams, Maryland basketball, Seth Greenberg  
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Next: Free throws (or lack of) a big factor for Terps

Comments

Sounds like Greenberg is drunk off the koolaid

Posted by: Barno1 | January 17, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Very good observation, Barno.

Posted by: petecard | January 17, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I think he's trying to prepare his fans for the inevidible NCAA snub coming at the end of the year. For a team that was projected as being second fiddle only to Duke, Greenberg has once again failed to live up to expectations. His team had UNC in a vice in the Dean Dome and couldn't close the deal. Carolina then turned around and got blasted by 20 at GaTech, one of the worst teams in the ACC. FSU may be the only other legitimate tournament team in the conference right now, just sad!

Posted by: Russtinator | January 17, 2011 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Given his prolonged absence,my guess is that HughG stayed in Pittsburgh.

Posted by: petecard | January 17, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Call me a koolaid drinker, but I think it's too early to give up on this team.

This team is scrappy, talented, and hard working. Not only have they hung with 5 of the best teams in the nation, they competed with every single one of them.

It's clear this team is making strides and improving. They were really close to getting their first signature win...and I realize it's a tough loss to swallow. But let's look at the positives here. JW is getting better and better each game. Stoglin is a gamer. Dino is starting to be a real presence inside.

The ACC is down this year, as are many of the major conferences besides the Big East. The tourney field is larger this season. If the guys can pull it together starting Thursday night....they've got a real chance to make something out of this season. 10-6 and even 11-5 in the ACC is a realistic goal. Do that, and perform well in the ACC tourney, and we're in the tourney.

It's time for us to do our part...go to the game on Thursday...scream our freaking heads off, and give the guys a real home court advantage. This is the first game of many must wins the rest of the season, and I for one am confident that we'll have an enjoyable ride supporting this team the rest of the year.

Go Terps!

Posted by: H1Dynasty | January 17, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Dynasty....If I recall correctly NONE of the games vs ranked teams were played at Comcast, so beating a highly ranked team on their home court is a tall order for any team, especially with one using 2 Frosh guards..(yes i realize some were at MSG but that is basically a home court for the BE teams we played).....

I am not going to look up the losses for each of the 5 times but I bet that the number of teams that have been able to beat any one of them on their home courts this season is a pretty small group....

Relax everyone...were a competitive and getting better (most recently we led #1Duke in Cameron at the half and were up by 12 over #7 Nova on their home court)

Posted by: TerpfanMA | January 17, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

We weren't beating Duke at the half (though we were up 6 in the second at one point).

I still think we can make the tourney, but I agree that it'll take 10 ACC wins and a win over Duke to get our RPI in the range.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 18, 2011 1:22 AM | Report abuse

Greenberg is being a little too nice. They should NOT have lost that Nova game period and at the very least, that was one of the most pathetic seven minutes stretches I can remember in Terps bball history. Only thing worse might have been that Duke comeback in a minute or so.

Posted by: break20 | January 18, 2011 1:50 AM | Report abuse

"This team is scrappy, talented, and hard working. Not only have they hung with 5 of the best teams in the nation, they competed with every single one of them."
-->No moral victories, sorry. They can play 32 minutes, but NOT a full 40 with the big boys.

"The tourney field is larger this season."
-->Yeah there are a total of TWO more At-Large teams, the 68th spot so to speak belongs to one of those "mid-major" conference champs. It might help us tilt over the bubble, but probably we're out if we can't beat someone better than us, which we haven't done yet. Hopefully will have our yearly victory over UNC or Duke(and UNC's last year didn't count but we beat Duke).

Posted by: break20 | January 18, 2011 2:10 AM | Report abuse

"I agree with Dynasty....If I recall correctly NONE of the games vs ranked teams were played at Comcast, so beating a highly ranked team on their home court is a tall order for any team, especially with one using 2 Frosh guards..(yes i realize some were at MSG but that is basically a home court for the BE teams we played).....

I am not going to look up the losses for each of the 5 times but I bet that the number of teams that have been able to beat any one of them on their home courts this season is a pretty small group....

Relax everyone...were a competitive and getting better (most recently we led #1Duke in Cameron at the half and were up by 12 over #7 Nova on their home court)

Posted by: TerpfanMA | January 17, 2011 7:51 PM"
-->This is absolutely unacceptable! I'm not saying they should win every one of these games, but they should be winning some and the Nova game we could've definitely won. And that's a pretty neutral game when you consider its away from their campus. Does Verizon give the Terps the same feel as Comcast?

Posted by: break20 | January 18, 2011 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Can we all agree to stop bringing up the long-ago last minute lost to Duke? Ya, it was a huge collapse, but we don't need to hear about it every time there's a collapse. They're not related, except in the way that they feel. Get over it - Steve Blake has.

ok, done my rant; I feel better. whew. gotta change my clothes now.

Posted by: bentoenail | January 18, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

So the Villanova loss was disappointing. Definitely. But the season isn't over, and JW may or may not bolt for the NBA. My thinking that he does not unless he is a sure-fire lottery pick, something that does NOT happen without a deep March run.

So getting to the dance - beating VT is a must. Like how the ACC coaches seem to have each other's backs. They need to if they want to bubble in. And we'll bubble in...JW will make sure that we do so.

Yes that stretch of abysmal BB against Nova will stick in our craws until a big win occurs. Beating VT is a nice win with a tad less luster given their foibles this season. The next potential big wins are the two usual culprits Duke and (albeit unranked, still overrated) UNC.

Am still surprised at the rotation of players used against Villanova and have to wonder - wtf is JP doing wrong? Clearly he and BW are talented bigs and as much as I like the Iceman, my own racial preconceptions (y'know, how white guys can drill open jumpers) makes me want him on the wing, not in the paint. The season is only hitting its midpoint, but as many have pointed out, the HUGE opportunities to secure an invite to the dance have fallen through. And we coulda-shoulda-woulda won every one of them IF we didn't have a bunch of IFs to point to (FT%, 3PT%, TS shot selection).

We have talent. We don't have an effective PG yet. TS has not been the answer so my vote which counts for nothing is to move PH to the 1 and minimize his minutes, bring JP in with CT as the first subs off the bench, and utilize HP as 3 moreso than a 4 - which puts his minutes behind SM & CT. AB has had his best games when he penetrates so run some plays for him early and pull him if his feet have not touched paint prior to shooting or dishing. And let BW and only BW spell JW. DG and JP are 4s so let them play facing the basket instead of spelling JW.

But GW has won a boatload of games and I haven't so I defer to him.

Any insights into how the donating alumni base is feeling about the BB program? I recall Minhle1 stating that GW was untouchable when the RF drama was unfolding.

Most of all, another team member has to step up as a leader on the team with JW. DG may be the guy, but I/m thinking tha SM is likely the best suited to play the role.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | January 18, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Can we all agree to stop bringing up the long-ago last minute lost to Duke? Ya, it was a huge collapse, but we don't need to hear about it every time there's a collapse. They're not related, except in the way that they feel. Get over it - Steve Blake has.

ok, done my rant; I feel better. whew. gotta change my clothes now.

Posted by: bentoenail | January 18, 2011 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, but this team hasn't had a "Gone in 54 seconds" moment this season or even a buzzer=beating loss like last year against Michigan State. They've lost leads, but they have yet to lose a true heartbreaker, on that emboldens an experienced team or crushes a youthful one. That kind of loss might be on the way, and I just don't see this team recovering from a truly crushing defeat.

This team is getting close to the point where players are either going to step up and kick it into the next gear (Mosely--HELLO?), or the heads are going to start to drop and the "here we go again" attitude is going to set in where the team works it's tail off, but cannot find a winning formula. This team needs to take one game at a time, and hopefully the wins will come. I just don't think there are enough games left on the schedule to get this team in the NCAA without going nearly perfect the rest of the way or taking the crown in Greensboro.

Posted by: Russtinator | January 18, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

What has hurt the ACC is the lack of good coaches. Other than Coach K, Gary Williams and possibly Bennett at UVa the coaches in the ACC are not very good anymore and that is why the league is no longer looked upon with favor.

Posted by: PacoInAjijic | January 18, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Greenberg is a slickster, what else is he supposed to say coming into Comcast? The truth? His excuses for Maryland sound like his annual postseason whinning session on why the Hokies missed the tournament!

The truth is Maryland's senior gaurds are a huge dissapointment. Bowie and Tucker disappear when it matters most!

It matters most when you have a lead and need a killer instint to finnish a team off!

THERE IS NO SENIOR LEADERSHIP IN THE CLUTCH! Moseley although a jounior needs to grow a pair and assume the role!


Dino is the only senior worth his salt, playing great defense, taking and "HITTING" his shots as well as good free throw shooting.

Stoglin and Peshon are going to be great but they are F R E S H M E N; who dribble into trouble and are learning the college game. Williams is the only constant and I dont think we could win a game without him?

Both Allen and Delaney poo pooed Maryland to play for VT instead staying home. There is nothing they would like better than to come into College Park and stick their middle finger up our you no what's!

WAKE UP TERPS! TIME FOR SETHS EXCUSES ARE OVER!

GO TERPS!

Posted by: fatlabriley2 | January 18, 2011 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Greenberg is being a little too nice. They should NOT have lost that Nova game period and at the very least, that was one of the most pathetic seven minutes stretches I can remember in Terps bball history. Only thing worse might have been that Duke comeback in a minute or so.

Posted by: break20 | January 18, 2011 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Or the 22 point collapse in the final four in 01. Or the 20 point collapse to Clemson that cost us an NCAA berth in 08. Or the 85-44 loss to Duke 2 years ago. Or the 30+ point defeat at Wake in Chris Paul's sophomore year. Or the 35 point loss to UCLA in the 2nd round of the 00 tourney.

We've played as bad as we did in those 7 minutes and for longer stretches before...let's not go overboard on this one defeat. We played a pretty good game overall on the home court of the number 7 team in the country. We'll bounce back this week.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 18, 2011 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Barno for the catalog of humiliating defeats. But it does add perspective (and a few winces).

Lets look at this time last year - we started playing BEAUTIFUL BB in January. Seriously, the run of games prior to beating Duke (complete with Pete's countdown) had the Terps playing beautiful BB for extended stretches. The extra pass to the open man. The key rebound (and this year's edition is a much better rebounding team). They stood and delivered...but they really had not delivered up until that Jan-Feb run. I'm hoping to see a repeat. This is at the very least a more LIKABLE team than a few of the post-NC teams (yep, and I admit I was not a huge GV fan at this point of last season). There is a ton of talent on tis team. We have a legit 5. Dino is a legit 4. JP has proven to be an able player at both positions. We are rich in bigs this season.

It comes down to PG play. And I would take AB, PH, or TS over DJ Strawberry any day of the week.

Look to defeat VT handily to start the necessary run to the post-season.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | January 18, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

What has hurt the ACC is the lack of good coaches. Other than Coach K, Gary Williams and possibly Bennett at UVa the coaches in the ACC are not very good anymore and that is why the league is no longer looked upon with favor.

Posted by: PacoInAjijic | January 18, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

You're exactly right. Catch that Big East double header last night? I used to laugh at the Big East now we're so far from their level the ACC may as well be a mid-major. A high mid-major at least like the A-10.

Posted by: restonhoops | January 18, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Hugh, I was 100% with you til the end. I wouldn't take any of those players over Straw. I'd prefer them playing point guard, but none of them were as good overall a Straw was his senior year when he was first team All Acc.

Also, I don't think Padgett has proven anything yet. He had a nice little 6 point outburst in a 2 minute stretch at MSG earlier this year but aside from that what has he done? He's a poor man's version of Ekene Ibekwe. That said, there is still plenty of time for Gary to groom him. If Dave Neal can become a starting center in the ACC, anything is possible.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 18, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I think this TECH game is very important for the Terps especially after the Nova loss. We can't have anymore "good" losses. Win or no tourney. Is is sad this program is continually "on the Bubble" for the NCAAs.

Posted by: Redtopper2 | January 18, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

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