Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Morgan State Upsets Maryland... Should We Even Be Surprised?

What am I supposed to say. What is any Terp fan supposed to say after a loss in which the Terps let a sizeable lead collapse against a vastly inferior local opponent. I could very well ramble on about how this is inexcusable, shocking, and how heads should roll on this team. I could talk about how Gary Williams might just be finding a place on the hot seat. However, I won't be doing that today because this loss is nothing new to longtime Terrapin fans and it's useless to fight it at this point.

Maryland had a huge opportunity today to neatly wrap up the easy stretch of non-conference games, going into ACC play with a 12-2 record with no bad losses and a couple big wins. They blew that opportunity against Morgan State, a team that came in at a 6-8 record, and who lost against powerhouse programs such as La Salle, Manhattan, and Wisconsin-Green Bay. Within this game Morgan State did not even play particularly well; they collapsed badly in the second half, with their coach throwing tantrums on the sidelines and coughing up the ball repeatedly to hand Maryland a comfortable double-digit lead. Instead of pushing that advantage, Maryland sat on that lead and let Morgan State claw back into it. By the time Vazquez was throwing up desperation shots to pull this team to a win on his back, the game was over. Maryland will now enter the ACC schedule with a large mountain to climb, and all indications point to that mountain being too tall for this scrappy bunch. If the Terps shoot well they can pull the upset against just about anyone, but they have no frontcourt and no bench. Without those things there is no way this team can be consistently successful, because if they don't shoot well it means that, well... they lose to Morgan State.

But bigger picture? Don't waste your breath getting upset, Terp fans. This happens just about every year in almost every major Maryland sport. Just as the football team has their Middle Tennessee State, so basketball has their Morgan State. That doesn't make it excusable, it just makes it a fact of being a Terrapin fan. Gary Williams will have this bunch competing hard in the ACC; this is only the beginning of a large roller coaster ride this season will take us through. Enjoy these Terrapins for those stretches when they're great, but don't pin your hopes to them, because they'll break your heart.

(Photo credit: Kenneth Lam/Baltimore Sun)

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