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Previewing Maryland

Scouting Report / Game Plan
Season Stats

Maryland Offense 06-07Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%52.869Turnover Rate22.3206Off Reb Rate35.5109FTM/FGA28.477
The normal association that goes with "up tempo," at least for me, is "fun to watch," but Gary Williams's team proves that effectiveness is far more important than pace when it comes to aesthetic apeal. Maryland is again one of the 10-15 fastest teams in the country this season, and is, again, one of the most painful teams in the conference to watch. They eschew the three-pointer in favor of a plodding, whistle-heavy, lane-clogging style that is neither attractive nor effective.

They had the ACC's worst offense in conference play last season (96.4 pts/100 poss on dreadful 45.7% shooting) and they're 11th this season (100.4, 48.7%). Their starters in conference games this year:
 ORtg %Poss eFG% PPWS %Shots TO%

Gist 112.5 22.3 57.3 1.19 25.2 15.7
Jones 99.9 18.2 48.9 1.05 22.4 18.1
Vasquez 96.0 20.1 46.0 1.01 20.3 24.0
Strawberry 95.0 20.5 40.6 0.91 20.1 17.1
Ibekwe 93.2 22.2 50.7 1.09 18.6 26.6

Aside from James Gist, who has been very good, the numbers are dreadful. If anyone's seen DJ Strawberry's jumpshot, let him know...I'm sure he's looking for it. One thing I applaud the Terps for: they understand that Gist is their most productive player and allow him to take more shots than anyone else.


Greivis Vasquez (6-5, 195) -- Sometimes I think he shoots too much, but then I look at the above table and think, "okay, but who'd you prefer take them?" Vasquez is one of the team's few outside shooters, and I don't think they'd want Jones taking any more threes than he already is. Vasquez's assist rate is a modest 19.9% in ACC games, but this is mainly because he splits the PG role with Strawberry and Eric Hayes. Let me say also that I'm disappointed people aren't taking advantage of the pun opportunities offered by Vasquez's first name.
"And Vasquez throws it away..."
"A grievous error indeed, Jim."

Mike Jones (6-5, 204) -- 41.7% on threes for the year, but only 32.7% in conference games.

DJ Strawberry (6-5, 201) -- As mentioned, the shooting hasn't been there, but he distributes the ball without committing too many turnovers and he has a lot of value at the defensive end.

Ekene Ibekwe (6-9, 220) -- Turning the ball over a ton: you might could live with his 26.6 TO% in conference play if he were, say, the point guard. And if he happened to be the team's primary scoring option and a high-usage player, it might be understandable. But he obviously isn't those things. What he does do well: get to the free throw line, rebound the ball at both ends, block shots.

James Gist (6-8, 223) -- After posting effective field goal percentages around 49.0 in his first two seasons, he's at 55.3% this year, and that's made a big difference for the Terps. He is Maryland's most productive scorer in conference play, averaging 15 PPG and 20.4 pts/40 min. Solid rebounder at both ends and a good shot blocker.


Bambale Osby (6-8, 250), Eric Hayes (6-3, 175), Parrish Brown (6-1, 175), Will Bowers (7-1, 262) should all see some time, with Hayes playing the most. In conference games, Hayes sports a better assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8) than either Vasquez or Strawberry.

In ACC games Osby has, for whatever reason, become more active at the offensive end; if anything, though, he should be taking fewer shots now that the competition is tougher...
 FGA/40min eFG%

Non-Conf 10.4 63.0
In-Conf 13.8 44.4
That 44.4% shooting in conference play comes with a turnover rate of 24.3%. Yikes.

I love me some Will Bowers because he looks allergic to both weightlifting and shaving. I'm not sure the Christ-this-hangover-is-killing-me look really works on the basketball court, though it is fitting when you consider that he also plays like he's hungover. He's the foulin'-est, turnoverin'-est tall dude you ever gon' see.

Maryland Defense 06-07Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%43.16Turnover Rate23.852Off Reb Rate37.0299FTA/FGA31.375
Defensive rebounding has been a huge issue for the Terps, which is strange because it wasn't a problem in 2006 and there hasn't been much change to the roster. Did Travis Garrison make that big a difference?

The problem is even bigger in conference games: opponents are grabbing 41.2% of their misses. Two opponents (FSU, UVA) have managed to grab more than half of their misses against the Terps.

Still, the Terps have an excellent overall defense. They rank 13th nationally in defensive efficiency and only three ACC teams have a better defensive efficiency in conference games. The primary reason is FG% defense, and they also force a lot of turnovers.

If you look in the scouting report, you can see that opponents are struggling to shoot from both inside and outside. Maryland has no shortage of big guards, and its post players are very good shot blockers; that's a nice combination.

Predict-O-Meter has Maryland 81-71, but I expect it to be closer than that. The Terps haven't been a good road team for a while now.