College Park, Md. – The Maryland Terrapins faced a must-win game against NC State tonight. Their already slim Tournament hopes were starting to dwindle after consecutive road losses to Boston College and Virginia Tech. In the presence of greatness tonight, the Terps managed to win in convincing fashion.
The Terps honored both Greivis Vasquez and the 2001 Final Four team this evening, and the current players made sure their predecessors were proud. Of course, with Terrell Stoglin going for 25 points and 9 assists the comparisons to Vasquez were obvious.
When asked about the comparison Coach Gary Williams, “Terrell thinks the light is always green, he’s never seen a red light… [as a freshman] Greivis was a lot crazier than Terrell”.
Stoglin has really started to play well the last few games, highlighted by his back-to-back 25-point performances. Stoglin was asked if he’s taken on the role as the leader, “I’m just trying to be a point guard, like coach wants”.
Stoglin and fellow freshman Pe’Shon Howard started the game today, the first time the two freshman had started together this season. Stoglin mentioned how great it was to start with Howard, rather than competing against him for the starting spot. The two worked well together. Stoglin had the gawdy numbers, but Howard was a calming presence alongside him.
Not to be lost in the great game by Stoglin, are the equally great games by Dino Gregory and Jordan Williams. The former set a new career-high with 18 points and added 10 rebounds. Williams had a fantastic shooting night and paced the Terps with 26 points and 8 rebounds.
Finding consistent play around Jordan Williams has been an issue all season, but for one night, the Terps put it together. This will be the key to the final four games of the season. Of which, you would have to say they will be the favorite in three. The lone game that looks like a loss is the game at North Carolina.
Coach Gary Williams made sure to focus on what the 2001 Final Four team meant, not just to the basketball program, but the school as a whole. “[That 2001 team] broke through a ceiling that was here. That really put away a lot of stuff from the Len Bias situation and that’s how important it was for the university – not just the basketball program”.
We’ll see how the program can fair this year down the final stretch. With four games to go, the team still has an outside shot at a Tournament berth. The next test is Wednesday night against Florida State at home.