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Return to the 2006-07 Top 144 Preview

September 1st, 2006

By Joel Welser

Broadcast Basketball


Maryland Terrapins

Overall Rank: #70

Conference Rank: #9 ACC


2005-06: 19-13, 8-8, 6th

2005-06 postseason: NIT


Even with a talented squad in 2005-2006, Maryland ended the season with a disappointing 8-8 record in the conference.  With a talented group of seniors gone, expectations have gone down even further for a team that hasnít made the NCAA Tournament in two years.


Whoís Out: Nik Caner-Medley led the squad with 15.3 points and fellow departing senior Chris McCray wasnít far behind with 15.2 points per game.  Travis Garrison earned ten starts during his final year in College Park, averaging 8.0 points and 5.3 rebounds.  Sterling Ledbetter was relegated to backup point guard duties during his senior campaign, but was still a decent contributor off the bench. 


Whoís In: The frontcourt needs some depth and Jerome Burney and Bambale Osby will look to fill that role.  Unfortunately, those two are the least heralded of Marylandís five man class.  Burney is a long 6-9 power forward who will help out on the glass as a freshman.  Osby played at New Mexico as a freshman before heading to Paris Junior College in Texas.  Osby didnít see many minutes at New Mexico and that isnít expected to change at Maryland.  Greivis Vasquez and Landon Milbourne will battle for minutes on the wings.  Vasquez is a hardworking, tough and versatile player.  Heíll need to get stronger and work on his shooting consistency, but Vasquez can help out the Terps at multiple positions as a freshman.  Milbourne is a monster on the offensive glass.  He has nice range on his shot, but needs to work on his inside game if Coach Gary Williams wants the 6-7 forward to play under the basket.  Eric Hayes is a technically sound point guard.  Heís a smart floor leader, a solid shooter and the future of the Maryland backcourt appears to be in his hands.


Who to Watch: James Gist, Ekene Ibekwe and Will Bowers return to the frontcourt.  Gist, who started 21 games last year, is a long and lean forward with good athletic skills.  Given the opportunity for more minutes, Gist is expected to improve on last yearís 8.4 points per game.  Ibekwe will have to be the leader in the paint.  After averaging 11.1 points and a team high 6.6 boards as a junior, the 6-9 forward returned to college to continue to work on his game.  Bowers, at 7-1 and 262 pounds, is a great option off the bench.  He is imposing on the defensive end and has a nice shooting touch. 


Final Projection: The backcourt has a couple solid players in point guard D.J. Strawberry and shooting guard Mike Jones.  Strawberry averaged 10.3 points and 4.0 assists per game, while Jones proved that he could be the go-to scorer late in the season.  There is plenty of talent at Maryland, but there was more last year.  If the Terps can play to their potential, they should be in the NCAA Tournament.  If this season turns out to be more like last year, it will be three years in a row with a trip to the NIT.


Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT


Projected Starting Five:

D.J. Strawberry, Senior, Guard, 10.3 points per game

Mike Jones, Senior, Guard, 10.5 points per game

Greivis Vasquez, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season

James Gist, Junior, Forward, 8.4 points per game

Ekene Ibekwe, Senior, Forward, 11.1 points per game

71 UNLV Ľ Complete List Ľ 69 St John's

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