Maryland the Team on the Rise in the ACC

DeAnte MitchellCorrespondent IJanuary 11, 2010

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 8: Greivis Vasquez #21 of the Maryland Terrapins guards his player against the Miami Hurricanes in the opening round of the ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at the St. Pete Times Forum on March 8, 2007 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

Maryland has a strong experienced team as it returned it's top four scorers from last year’s team that made the NCAA tournament, and advanced before losing in the second round to Memphis.

Maryland has looked a lot better this year with four players averaging 11 points or better. There scoring offense is looking very good as they score 79.8 points as a team; third best in ACC. Maryland shoots 48 percent from the field and 37 percent from three.

Maryland is a team that takes care of the basketball.  They also compete throughout the whole forty minutes of the game. Maryland averages 39.4 rebounds and 11.6 turnovers per game. Their frontcourt can get after shots, if they cannot get the block they’ll alter the shot in any way they can. Maryland averages 5.5 blocks a game; fifth best in ACC. Their backcourt also knows how to share the ball, as a team they average 16.6 assist per game.

Maryland as a team plays solid team defense. This season they’ve forced 8.4 steals and force teams into turning over the ball 16.6 times per game. Meaning they have a +4.3 turnover margin which is best in ACC. In addition they have a 1.4 assist/turnover ratio which is second best in ACC.

However, in every strong team there is always a weakness. Maryland’s weakness is their job on the offensive glass, and their 3-pt FG defense. In losses this season, Maryland has had problems on the boards and which has been improved game by game.

Their four losses on the season were to top-tier opponents: Villanova, Wisconsin, Cincy, and William and Mary. All teams but William and Mary have been in the Top 25, but William and Mary beat two good teams in Wake, and Maryland.

In their last game against Florida State, they grabbed 15 offensive rebounds and limited Florida State to 33 percent behind the three point line. Both under season averages, in addition it was on a Top 25 opponent that Maryland just outplayed the whole game. Maryland was the first team to shoot 47 percentage on the NCAA number one defensive FG percentage team.

Their top contributor is Guard Greivis Vasquez, who averages 17.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 6.1 assist per game.

Coach Gary Williams said “I'll put Greivis with anybody in terms of what he brings overall to a team during a game situation. I'm proud of him, but I expect him to play like this. He's that type of player” He is a special player to Maryland because of his all around game; you have to respect his shot and driving ability which makes him hard to guard.

Because of the leadership by the senior guard, Maryland looks to be a strong contender come March. Maryland plays their next conference game at Wake Forest at 8:00 PM ET on Jan. 12.