Dino Gregory, Maryland's junior forward expected to at least be in the starting lineup to begin the season, did not play in the exhibition, and reports are that he violated team rules. However, Maryland is not revealing what happened, and it looks as if this may be a big problem for Gregory.
The Washington Post and Baltimore Sun alike have been trying to figure out what happened, but no one at Maryland, coach Gary Williams included, seems to wish to elaborate. On Jeff Barker's Tracking the Terps blog on the Baltimore Sun, he quotes the Washington Post as saying in the summer that Gregory's eligibility might have been in question due to academic issues. But right now it is not certain what is happening or how long Gregory will be out. He is still on the Maryland roster, so he has not left the team, but the situation is a strange one.
Right now, Maryland needs Dino Gregory to be an available player. During the exhibition against Indiana (PA), freshmen big men James Padgett and Jordan Williams both looked strong. Padgett, who started the game, scored eight with four rebounds and two blocks, while Williams off the bench scored seven points (five from free throws) and grabbed six rebounds. Both looked good to start the season. But Maryland does not want to lose its veteran presence, especially on the boards.
The only starter the Terps need to replace from last year is Dave Neal, who became the important forward Maryland needed. Gregory is the only returning big man that can be effective down low. Landon Milbourne is also back, but he is a small forward thet focuses on shooting, not playing below the rim, and the same goes for Jin Soo Choi and Cliff Tucker, who are more shooting forwards that players who can grab rebounds. It is real exciting to see what Padgett and Williams can do, but they will need help before they jump into the fire of the ACC. For Maryland, lets hope that Gregory can return, and soon, or else a lot of pressure will be placed on two rookies.
(Photo credit: Washington Post)