College Park, Md. – Maryland was supposed to enjoy Senior Night. The final home game for Adrian Bowie, Dino Gregory and Cliff Tucker, but instead were left with a beat-down from a team they beat by 24, on the road, a little over a month ago.
The loss is Maryland’s third straight, and sixth out of their last ten. For a team that was on the bubble just a week ago, they are looking like a team that may struggle to get a home-game in the NIT after this last performance. Losses to Miami and Virginia in the last week leave Maryland looking at the 7th or 8th seed in the ACC Tournament – the Georgia Tech vs. Miami game tomorrow will determine their final seeding.
Maryland just couldn’t put a full game together, again. The disappearing acts from Cliff Tucker and Sean Mosley were hardly a surprise. Both have struggled mightily this season, at times. However, it was a surprise to see both log as many minutes as they did. Their struggles are well documented this season, but both had started to play better as of late. Combined they were 1 of 7 from the floor for 5 points. If you throw in Adrian Bowie that becomes 2 of 11 for 10 points.
For players who were supposed to be the leaders of the team, it’s just one more disappointing chapter, and is typical for this season. Jordan Williams had another productive night, scoring 17 points on 6 of 8 shooting and 5 of 6 from the line. Dino Gregory continued his stellar play, scoring 15 points on 6 of 10 shooting and 3 of 4 from the line.
Another problem that has haunted the Terps all season is their inability to defend the three-point shot. Sammy Zeglinski was scorching hot from behind the arc, lighting up the Terps for 25 points, including six three-pointers.
Now Maryland will face the daunting task of doing something no team has done yet, win four-straight games in the ACC Tournament. When asked what he thought of their at-large chances, Gary Williams said “Win four. I think where we are right now, realistically, though I’ve heard 100 teams are on the bubble”.
With Maryland’s opponent still yet to be determined for Thursday’s First Round game, people are left to wonder if a loss Thursday will have NIT ramifications. People are already beginning to speculate that it’s no guarantee that Maryland even makes the NIT. Maryland will reach a new low in the Gary Williams era if it’s passed over by both the NCAA and NIT and are instead left with the CBI. Again, it’s early to speculate, but another loss would be damaging to the NIT hopes.
One development that fans can take from this were the minutes Freshman Mychal Parker played tonight. He has been scarcely used so far this season, totaling just 80 minutes all season, but tonight played 10 – his most since December. Parker played in crunch time tonight and performed admirably. He had two offensive rebounds and two assists in his ten minutes. Not bad for a guy who had eight DNP’s in his last ten games.
Once the games have finished tomorrow, I’ll take a look at Maryland’s path and what it will take to win the ACC Tournament. There was a telling quote from Gary Williams tonight, he said “Monday’s practice will be interesting, to see who represents us at the ACC Tournament”. Sounds like another tweak to the lineup should be expected.