Alrighty, the football season isn't scrapped, but it's waning. And let's be real for a second - Maryland is a basketball school. Gary Williams may be half the man Friedgen is (who isn't?), but he definitely has something the Fridge doesn't: A ring.
As I mentioned a few days ago, thus far, Maryland is out of the top 25 (not terribly surprising) and has garnered only one vote in the coaches' poll (mildly surprising). Is this really a bad team?
When I look at Maryland, I see a team with a potential conference superstar (Gist). I see two guards with experience that can take turns at the point and both were in the top-10 ACC in assists last year(Vasquez and Hayes). Gary Williams has said that the only reason Landon Milbourne didn't play last year is because D.J. Strawberry was the player ahead of him and Gary wanted him in all game. I see a deep bench, starting with Boom Osby and Jerome Burney and going into our freshmen, many of whom should contribute right away (Dupree, Tucker, etc.). Plus, we have the MVP of last year's Capital Classic coming here in the spring semester who could also potentially give an extra shot in the arm to our post game, should we need it.
The concern is defense. We lost Strawberry and Ibekwe, our two best defensive players last year. But... I think overall, we should be OK. Gist was the fourth-leading shot blocker in the ACC last year. A lot of are big men are defensive players that need to develop scoring around the basket (another area of concern, should be addressed by Dupree). Also, Greivis led the team in steals in conference play last year with 21, and Hayes managed to grab 13 as well. Add in Milbourne, who reminds me of Strawberry anyway. Ok. Problem addressed.
But these guys are young. Are two seniors and two sophomores enough to lead this team? I'm going to say yes. Everyone knows how intensely competitive Greivis is. Gist gets better every year: FG%, 3-pt shots, FT%, blocks, steals, even assists! Check the bottom. Everyone who is starting really deserves to start. We're deep. Now we have NCAA experience. The guys got a taste last year, I'm sure they're eager to get back.
Terp fans, really get excited, you're gonna like this season.
Extra note: BIG SCOOP
I was walking to late night at SoCo diner and I ran into Marissa Coleman and Crystal Langhorne. I noticed that Langhorne has a brace on her left foot. To my knowledge, no one has reported that Langhorne has an injury, but if she does, and it costs her court time, the Terps are down an All-American and a key player from the 2006 national championship squad. In other words: That ain't good.