Saturday, January 24, 2009

Maryland Gets Destroyed by the Blue Devils 85-44

There is a reason why Maryland's press release is only four lines long. Maybe it will get longer, but probably not. The fact is there is nothing good to take out of this loss. Nothing. It doesn't matter that Landon Milbourne had 19 points, it doesn't matter that the Maryland defense played all right for 14 minutes. The fact is they lost by 41, the worst loss ever by Maryland to Duke. Duke is a far better team then Maryland that will take the #1 ranking, but you couldn't help but think the Terps just didn't show up in Cameron Indoor Stadium today, a place they call their "home away from home." This is a game they will want to quickly forget.

All year Maryland has been trying to play a game like Duke normally does. A guard-heavy offense that relies on shooting well. Problem is they don't shoot well. They don't have enough accurate three-point shooters or people that can grab the rebounds when they do have problems. Maryland normally runs a mixed offense of forwards and guards, and they are just not used to this. Though they prefer players that are bangers in the paint, even in earlier years with athletic forwards they have found success. But this year, they have neither.

The stats speak for themselves. Outscored 85-44, outrebounded 56-38, outstolen 11-5, outblocked 12-6. None of the Duke starters played more than 25 minutes; they didn't need to. Greivis Vasquez, who says he loves to play at Cameron and feeds off the crowd, shot 2-10 and got four points. Maryland shot 2-12 beyond the arc. It is not to take anything away from Duke, as they are a great team, but this is a rivalry, and rivalry games should be closer than this.

With all of this, Maryland needs to regroup and put this loss behind them. This schedule is not getting any easier, and if they want to go .500 in the ACC, they need to get their act together. They still have North Carolina twice, Duke again, plus Wake Forest and Clemson, all which will be losses if they put performances like today's, count all of those as losses. It doesn't matter if they are close losses, a loss is a loss to the NCAA. There is still time, but they have to be ready.

(Photo credit: Baltimore Sun)

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