2008 NIT Capsule: Maryland
Atlantic Coast Conference (18-14, 8-8)
Big Wins: 1/19 at North Carolina (82-80), 2/2 at Georgia Tech (88-86), 2/16 Florida State (82-72)
Bad Losses: 11/20 vs Missouri (70-84), 12/9 Boston College (78-81), 3/9 at Virginia (76-91)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2007, Second Round loss to Butler
Coach: Gary Williams (27-14 in 15 NCAA appearances)
Greivis Vasquez, Sophomore, Guard, 17.3 ppg, 6.9 apg, 5.7 rpg
Eric Hayes, Sophomore, Guard, 10.3 ppg, 4.4 apg, 3.3 rpg
Landon Milbourne, Sophomore, Forward, 8.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg
James Gist, Senior, Forward, 15.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.3 bpg
Bambale Osby, Senior, Forward, 11.2 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.1 bpg
Cliff Tucker, Freshman, Guard, 3.9 ppg, 1.4 apg
Adrian Bowie, Freshman, Guard, 3.7 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Braxton Dupree, Freshman, Center, 2.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
Maryland has two of the best shot blockers in the game. James Gist and Bambale Osby both average over two blocks per game and their presence has a huge effect on the overall Terrapin defense. With Gist and Osby on the floor, it becomes extremely difficult for an opponent to find easy buckets in the paint. As a team, Maryland allows the opposition to shoot under 40 percent from the floor.
Yet, Gist and Osby do not just contribute on the defensive end. Gist averages 15.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. He can step out and hit the mid-range jumper and occasionally even the three-pointer. Osby will stick around the paint more often than not and he has become a surprisingly decent interior scorer. The 6-8 Osby was supposed to be a guy who would do the dirty work and grab some rebounds, which he is still very good at, but his ability to score in the paint has created space for the rest of the team on the offensive end.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes learned the ropes last year as freshmen, but they are still a relatively young duo who can get on bad streaks of committing turnovers. Vasquez will dish out 6.9 assists per game, but he also turns it over 4.5 times. Hayes is the steadier leader of the two and many times he will take over the ball handling duties from Vasquez late in the game. The bench is even less experienced than the starting backcourt. Cliff Tucker, Adrian Bowie and Braxton Dupree are all freshmen and the Terps have the least productive bench of any team in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Who To Watch:
Landon Milbourne will not score as much as the sophomores in the backcourt or the seniors in the frontcourt, but he is the piece that ties the groups together. At 6-7, Milbourne can help out on the glass, but he is also a decent shooter. Milbourne has yet to live up to his potential, but when he plays well, Maryland usually plays well.
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