Could this MD basketball team be anymore annoying to watch? They've disappointed on so many occassions this year that if the NCAA tourney committee sees beyond their sweep of Duke, the Terps are in a lot of trouble, and rightly so. Sweeping Duke sure is nice, but then getting swept by Clemson? The worst team in the conference (at the time)? That's uncalled for. 11 straight years making the tournament is surely in trouble this time around.
These guys were the first class after everyone from the championship team left so the thinking was they'd make the sweet 16 last year, then maybe crack the elite 8 this year, and get back that far again next year and with some good luck, make it to the final four. So what happened? Well as of last week or so, the team was in the country's top 10 in points per game , yet ranked around 250th in PPG defense. Worse yet, they were last in the conference in scoring defense. Against clemson, the terps let up around 96 points (I'm too frustrated to lookup the exact number) and guess what Clemson AVERAGES for the season? Only a mere 26 points under that total!
When you watch them play, they seem to have the mentality that they will simply outscore the other team everytime their torn up the other team's offense. These kids have to take some pride in their defense. Instead of thinking they'll just get those 2 points back on the other end, how about not putting yourself in that position in the first place?
Also, would it kill these guys to pass the ball more than twice on at least a few possessions each game? Gary's offense calls for a lot of movement and passes, but these guys just don't seem to pass well enough to make things work. You can't say the team lacks chemistry because this is their second year together (albeit after losing Jamar Smith) and they will be together (gasp!) next year as well. Is Gary to blame? Sure, these are his guys, but I doubt he tells his players to shoot no matter who's open and not to take any pride in playing hard on defense.
Sure they held their own versus UNC, but with 20 seconds to go and the score tied, UNC's Raymond Felton drove down the left side of the lane (through the heart of any team) and had an uncontest layup. Where was the rotation? The help defense? Oh that's right, these guys don't know how that works. UNC didn't even have its leading scorer, Rashad McCants, playing this time around.
The kids are 7-9 and in 8th place as the ACC wraps up its regular season today. All the "experts" suggest a win in the ACC tourney would assure the team a place in the NCAA tournament.
Let's just hope it's as simple as that, but it's probably too much to ask from this team.
Sure I love the jersey, but I hate the team.