Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Maryland Collapses (Again) on National Television

What is there really to say after last night's inexcusable 76-67 choke by the Maryland Terrapins? Maryland held a double-digit lead for most of the game and, playing at home, should have had no problem finishing off an uninspired Boston College squad. Instead, fatigue and sloppiness led to the Terps collapsing down the stretch and giving away this ballgame.

We are approaching the point in the season when teams truly reveal themselves as what they are, and Maryland has done as much. They have excellent guards in Greivis Vazquez and Adrian Bowie, but have a nonexistent bench, and no frontcourt players whatsoever. For Maryland to excel they must execute to near perfection, and not simply for one half in a ball game as with last night. For most of the game the Terps ran only seven deep, rotating in Dino Gregory in the frontcourt and Sean Mosley in the backcourt. Both of those subs played well, but the inexplicable absence of Cliff Tucker and the ineffectiveness of Braxton Dupree meant that those were the only two reliable bench players Gary gave minutes to. That to me is the easiest and most understandable reason for the continued failings of the Terps in the second half of games.

This team is not losing for lack of trying; they're just not that good, plain and simple. They came into last night's game playing hard and playing fast, but they were simply outmanned by Boston College. The roster this year was gutted before it even took the court in the unexpected departures of commitments Gus Gilchrist and Tyree Evans (not to mention the botched recruitment of Bobby Maze which still baffles me), and it took another shot last night in the announcement that freshman Jin Soo Kim has been declared academically ineligible to play this year.

After the Duke loss, it wasn't yet prudent for Maryland fans to claim that the sky was falling; bad games happen, particularly against the best team in the country (currently). However, for the Terps to lose a game such as they did last night, it not only virtually guarantees another year out of the Tournament, it makes you wonder just how low these Terps can go. With no depth and an average starting five, this could be one of the worst Maryland seasons in recent history. Oh, how the proud have fallen.

(Photo Credit: Kenneth Lam/Baltimore Sun)

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