Saturday, November 15, 2008
Last night, the Maryland mens basketball team had their season opener. They beat Bucknell 81-52 and are now undefeated on the season. Hopefully they will be able to continue winning on Tuesday when they play the Youngstown State Penguins. And since this is a team I've never heard of, I'm confident that the Terps can start the season 2-0. In fact, the Terps don't run up agianst any real competition until the fourth game of the season when they play against No. 7 ranked Michigan State. That will game will be a real test on these young Terrapins.
Regardless of how we do this year, it's always nice to start the season off with a few wins. It gets the confidence up and allows the team to find a good chemistry. And with the win over Bucknell last night, hopefully the team is finding a way to come together. Maryland was able to shoot 43% from the field and even managed a respectable 73% in free throws. For anyone who has watched this team in recent years, you have seen how terrible Maryland's free throw shooters have been. It's almost been like they don't want the easy points.
With only one senior on the team this year, David Neal, who isn't even a starter, the Terps are going to have to look elsewhere for leadership. If Vasquez has matured then he is the obvious choice. He has started since his freshman year, and led the team in minutes, rebounds and assists. He was second in scoring with 13 points, however he made only 5 of 16 shots, which probably means he still has work to do on his shot selection. Last year he had a tendency to try too hard and just throw the ball up there and make something happen. Hopefully this season he can learn to take less shots but score more points.
I'm hoping this team can come together during the beginning of the season and develop some great chemistry before heading into ACC play. The ACC is pretty stacked this year, with four teams ranked including the unanimous number 1. The Terps need to find their way before ACC play begins in January, otherwise, it's going to be a long spring, and another miserable March.