The road gets tougher for Maryland's Jordan Williams
Greivis Vasquez knew the value of having a big man dominate inside during his senior season at Maryland. And he made a project of freshman Jordan Williams partly for that reason. The more attention Williams commanded under the basket, the more room that freed up for Vasquez and the Terps’ other guards to work on the perimeter.
When Maryland (16-9, 5-5 ACC) has been at its best this season, that formula has prevailed. But when one facet or the other has sputtered -- dominance in the paint or consistent shooting from the perimeter -- the Terps have been easy prey for ACC rivals.
That was part of the dynamic at play in Saturday’s 76-72 loss at Boston College, although Reggie Jackson single-handedly made the Eagles formidable in scoring a career-high 31 points.
But on offense, it was the second consecutive game in which Williams, the Terps’ 6-10 center, was prevented from adding to his NCAA-leading 20 double-doubles. He was held to 12 points and eight rebounds.
“Every time I touched the ball, there were two of three guys guarding me,” Jordan Williams said, “so I tried to kick the ball out as much as possible.”
But after leading by three at halftime, the Terps failed to close the game, allowing Boston College to shoot 50 percent in the second half while hitting just 35.5 percent themselves.
Coach Gary Williams says that the center’s dip in production was virtually inevitable. As opponents see more footage of the impact he has, they construct game plans to shut him down.
“[Jordan] got a great deal of attention with the double-doubles, and people started to figure out what they wanted to do to play against him,” Gary Williams said. “They adjust, then we have to adjust. Part of the adjustment is: We have to make shots. We get open shots on the perimeter because of what teams do to Jordan. And it’s up to those players to make those shots.”
Added Gary Williams: “He is getting banged around a little bit in there, [but] he has got to be tough enough to be aggressive with the basketball.”
Jordan Williams still leads the Terps in scoring (17.1 points per game) and rebounding (11.8 per game). And he’ll remain the focal point of Virginia Tech’s defense Tuesday when the teams meet in a critical game for both in Blacksburg,
“You have to be aware of him at all times,” said Hokies Coach Seth Greenberg. “He comes low; he comes high. You have to make sure you cut him off [on the offensive boards]. And he’s a very good passer.”
Virginia Tech (16-7, 6-4) did a good job against Maryland’s center in rolling to its 74-57 victory at Comcast Center on Jan. 20, holding Williams to 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Hokies bolted to a 12-0 lead in that game and never trailed.
| February 15, 2011; 6:48 AM ET
Categories: Gary Williams, Jordan Williams, Men's basketball | Tags: Gary Williams, Jordan Williams, Maryland basketball, Virginia Tech basketball
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