Maryland-Boston College: The Terrapins Seek Answers for Sudden Slide

Jennifer JohnsonAnalyst IJanuary 27, 2009

No coach wants to go through what Maryland skipper Gary Williams has gone through the past two days.

Maryland (13-6 2-3 ACC) suffered their fourth-worst loss in school history, and their worst ever in Atlantic Coast Conference play on Saturday against arch rival, the Duke Blue Devils.

The Terrapins were dismissed like classes for the winter break in quick, painful fashion at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke doused Maryland’s hopes for an upset victory, trouncing the Terps into submission.

The final score was 85-44.

Blue Devils guard Gerald Henderson led his team with 17 points en route to their most laughable win in the head-to-head series.

Duke gained the No. 1 ranking in the nation this week, as a reward for embarrassing Maryland, and their loyal fans.

Junior guard Greivis Vasquez was held to four points, and has had a string of terrible shooting performances.

The questions are beginning to mount for the fearless Terps.

How did this happen?

Where do we go from here?

If Maryland is to rebound tonight against Boston College (15-6 3-3 ACC), they have to move on, and forget about the past.

“That’s part of being an athlete and being a coach is being embarrassed and then being able to come back,” Williams said after the Duke loss. “That makes us 2-3 in the league, I believe, and we have two home games next week and we’ll be ready to play Tuesday night.  That’s the key being ready to play.”

If one wants to read between the lines, is this Gary trying to motivate his players by getting them better prepared to play?

It sounds like he blames all parties involved for the recent losing trend.

It is a total team effort when you lose, and it is a total team effort when you win.

I agree with Williams, that there is a lesson to be learned from this experience.

And it goes beyond working hard, to make sure it never happens again.

I challenge the Terrapins to show some grit versus the Boston College Eagles.

Fight for every loose ball.

Do not be complacent.

Dictate how you want the game to go early.

Boston College coach Al Skinner does not plan to address Maryland’s previous game’s outcome, because he does not want to undermine his team’s competitive nature.

This is still a conference game, against a tough opponent.

“The fact that this is a league game and we’re going on the road, we’ve got to make sure we’re prepared,” Skinner said.  “The last game has no impact on the next game.  That’s my feeling about it.  I don’t look at it either way, whether it works for us or against us. It’s the same.”

Of course the Terrapins feel differently.

They must seize the opportunity to punish Boston College in the open floor.

Maryland rarely uses a set half-court offense.

The Terps rely on getting out in the open floor, so they can score in bunches.

Grabbing the lead, and holding onto it, will be a positive step towards getting out of this mid-season funk.

When asked whether he thought the Duke loss would carry over into tonight’s game, Gary Williams responded with his usual moxie.

“It can’t.”

He repeated this statement again.

Then he lowered his eyes and delivered his final words on the subject.

“That’s not an option.”

My prediction for the game:  Maryland takes care of business in the friendly confines of Comcast Center, win 68-62.


Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez leads his team in scoring with 16.3 points per game.

Boston College guard Tyrese Rice leads his team in scoring with 18.4 points per game.

Boston College and Maryland are currently the eighth and ninth seed in the ACC Conference standings.

Maryland can move up a spot if they win.