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Posted at 9:13 AM ET, 01/20/2011

Terps forecast: Virginia Tech a defensive handful

By Liz Clarke

Maryland’s recently completed three-game road swing that included losses to a pair of top-10 teams (then-No. 1 Duke and No. 7 Villanova) served as yet another learning experience, according to sophomore center Jordan Williams—one he believes has made the Terps a tougher, more resilient bunch.

Just how tough? Thursday’s game against hot-shooting Virginia Tech will likely tell.

The Hokies (11-5, 2-2) arrive at Comcast Center on the heels of a 94-65 rout of Wake Forest in which they shot 58 percent from the field and drilled seven 3-pointers in the first half alone.

To keep the Hokies and their top scorer, senior guard Malcolm Delaney, in check, the Terps must keep their defensive pressure on for a full 40 minutes and avoid a repetition of the long scoring drought that enabled Villanova to erase a 12-point deficit and roll to a 74-66 victory Saturday in Philadelphia.

The defensive lapses and offensive miscues that were part of the Terps’ seven-minute scoreless stretch against Villanova were the subject of much analysis when the Terps regrouped for practice this week, although they didn’t review the sequence frame-by-frame on videotape.

“We watched in person,” Jordan Williams said. “We didn’t need to watch it again.”

Said freshman Haukur Palsson: “We talked about it a lot because we had that defensive breakdown…..We’ve been working on just playing 40 minutes, the whole time, and not taking plays off and not taking defense off.”

Delaney, Tech’s star guard, leads the ACC with 42 baskets from 3-point range—nearly half the Hokies total of 89. Delaney recorded seven of those 3-pointers in one game alone, part of his 28-point performance in Tech’s 64-61 loss at North Carolina on Jan. 13. It was the Hokies’ lone defeat in their last eight games. But Delaney is hardly Tech’s only scoring threat. Six Hokies scored in double figures against Wake.

“You can't put everything [defensively] toward him,” said Maryland Coach Gary Williams. “It’s a veteran team they put on the court.”

By Liz Clarke  | January 20, 2011; 9:13 AM ET
Categories:  Gary Williams, Men's basketball  | Tags:  Malcolm Delaney, Maryland basketball, Virginia Tech  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Malcolm Delaney on Maryland: 'They might have the worst fans ever.'
Next: Maryland names Gary Crowton offensive coordinator, fills out Edsall's staff

Comments

This game is going to come down to how well the Terps can execute their offense. VaTech is almost certain to deploy a lot of zone against the Terps, which has proven to be an effective strategy, especially when both freshmen are on the court. The Terps tend to get flustered in the face of a zone, and panic by shooting 3's. If Gary can keep the guards patient, and encourage them to penetrate, they can have success.

Delaney is the only player on VaTech that really poses a problem for the Terps, but the way they've defended good guards so far this year (Nolan Smith, Corey Stokes, Brad Wannamaker, and C.J. Harris), I think they will find a combination that will force VaTech to find someone else to score aside from Delaney. Jordan Williams will need to be careful to stay out of foul trouble guarding Jeff Allen, and he's been doing a great job in the past 10 games.

JW in foul trouble and ineffective zone offense coudl spell trouble for the Terps, but with a couple of extra days to get ready for this home game, I just don't see the Terps losing this one...83-71 Terps

Posted by: Russtinator | January 20, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Good thing the Terps play some of the best defense in the nation.

Posted by: BrokenClipboard | January 20, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

i'm sure the great gary williams will devise a brilliant strategy to win this game

Posted by: slick3 | January 20, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Maybe we can't put everything defensively on one player, like Delaney, but surely we will make him a major focus. We have plenty of guys to put on him to avoid getting into foul trouble and we need to make sure that JW doesn't commit a couple of sloppy ones trying to do too much. But obviously the key is covering him behind the arc. We need to force him into going inside. SM could be a key, but we need to have a body on him all the time.

Posted by: petecard | January 20, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I could easily see the Terps dropping this one.

Posted by: postfan1 | January 20, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Maryland can put a veteran team on the floor too. With seniors, Bowie, Tucker and Gregory and junior Mosley. Gary has been relying on his freshmen guards too much IMO. He needs to get his veteran guards more minutes and they need to shoot it more, because their numbers are good:

Mosely shoots 39% 3-PT and 51% FG.
Tucker shoots 35% 3-PT and 49% FG.
Bowie shoots 41% 3-PT and 42% FG.

That kind of outside shooting will open things up more for Williams and Gregory in the paint. Bring Howard and Stoglin in off the bench to match up against the opponent's bench players and take some of the pressure off the freshmen.

Posted by: paul6554 | January 20, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Please note....the Kool-Aid drinkers of College Park wish to separate themselves from all Kool-Aid related comments and/or tweets made by Hokies.

Jeff Allen's tweet last night regarding the team meal:

@cooln_zero Jeff Allen Ok so we can't drink kool aid wit our dinner.... so we kids now

Posted by: fushezzi | January 20, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Jeff Allen is as literate as he is truthful.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 20, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I could easily see the Terps dropping this one.

Posted by: postfan1 | January 20, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Yeah...you said that already:
------------------------------


I hope UMD loses a close one to Va Tech.

I think they've got it coming.

Posted by: postfan1 | January 19, 2011 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Barno1 | January 20, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I'll be flipping back and forth between the Caps' and Terps' games. The Terps will win this game and the Caps will beat the Islanders and not give up a gratuitous goal in the 1st 2 minutes, God willing.

Posted by: SirPelleas | January 20, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I could easily see the Terps dropping this one.

Posted by: postfan1 | January 20, 2011 11:03 AM
-------------

And I could easily see myself dropping a stinking deuce on your face.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 20, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I could easily see the Terps dropping this one.

Posted by: postfan1 | January 20, 2011 11:03 AM
-------------

And I could easily see myself dropping a stinking deuce on your face.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P

---------------------------------

Thanks for proving Delaney's point with your contribution to the discussion.

Posted by: postfan1 | January 20, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Ah take a hike back down to Blacksburg and go have "relations" with your cousin.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | January 20, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

If I yell "learn how to speak English" to Jeff Allen tonight, will he accuse me of a racial slur?

Posted by: Barno1 | January 20, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

This thread is awesome

Posted by: SirPelleas | January 20, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

All this expert analysis is wonderful but it all boils down to 1 thing:

Our offense, defense, FT shooting, FG % and 3pt shooting have to combine to put more points on the board than VT.

An interesting statistic: Last year in the ACC, we were an outstanding 11-0 when outscoring our opponent.

Posted by: TerpfanMA | January 20, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"Last year in the ACC, we were an outstanding 11-0 when outscoring our opponent"

We, somewhat shockingly, went on to be 13-0 in the ACC when outscoring our opponent.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 20, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I think we all should blow kisses at Allen and while doing so, extend that special finger when moving your hand away from your face.

Posted by: JEGman | January 20, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Lets all blow kisses to Allen and while doing so, extend that special finger out while moving your hand from your face.

Posted by: JEGman | January 20, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

This is a travesty. Maryland is playing embarrassing basketball right now. Just embarrassing. I posted on another article here that there was not a chance they'd drop this game. I'm eating crow. Can't believe the Terps are playing this badly.

Posted by: scrappledog | January 20, 2011 10:44 PM | Report abuse

ouch

Posted by: funkey | January 20, 2011 10:57 PM | Report abuse

What an embarassing display. When you lose to one of the worst programs in the history of D1 b-ball at home, your season is finished. What a fuc&ing joke.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 20, 2011 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Barno, do you really take pride in attacking the literacy of Jeff Allen? Sure, the kid seems like a jerk, but you just seem petty.

Posted by: Finnucane | January 20, 2011 11:02 PM | Report abuse

What an embarassing display. When you lose to one of the worst programs in the history of D1 b-ball at home, your season is finished. What a fuc&ing joke.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 20, 2011 11:02 PM |
____________

That game stunk and was embarrassing for sure. But I don't know that I would go so far as to say that VT is "one of the wort programs in the history of D1." I don't like them either, but I think that's a bit of an exaggeration.

Posted by: marylandarlington | January 20, 2011 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Barno, do you really take pride in attacking the literacy of Jeff Allen? Sure, the kid seems like a jerk, but you just seem petty.

Posted by: Finnucane | January 20, 2011 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Yes. Does he take pride in making up lies about Maryland fans yelling racial slurs at him?

Posted by: Barno1 | January 21, 2011 1:19 AM | Report abuse

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