The Time Is Now for Gary Williams' Maryland Terrapins

Brian HainesContributor IJanuary 19, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 21:  Greivis Vasquez #21 of the Maryland Terrapins dribbles the ball upcourt during their second round game against the Memphis Tigers in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Sprint Center on March 21, 2009 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Tigers defeated the Terrapins 89-70.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It seems like decades ago when Juan Dixon and Lonny Baxter cut down the nets after a national championship victory over Indiana in 2002. While it doesn't seem like the drought will end this year, the Terps certainly have an opportunity to make waves in the ACC.

North Carolina has six losses and teams such as Wake Forest and North Carolina State are not as strong as usual. Duke is always a toss-up when it comes to playing Maryland, so if Gary Williams wants to get his squad back in the national spotlight, 2010 is the time to do it.

Of course there is a point guard named Greivis Vasquez that may play a huge role in whether or not the Terps can ascend the ACC standings. Vasquez seems to be the most polarizing figure on the Terps and many fans seem to either love or hate the guy.

While there is no doubt that Vasquez can play on an NBA level, he sometimes tries to do too much and if he stands back and lets his teammates do some work, the Terps can be more efficient on offense.

Fresh off a perfect shooting night and 21 points against Longwood, guard Sean Mosley will be the Terps X-factor. Mosley has the ability defend, rebound, and has a much improved offensive game.

With Eric Hayes carrying the mantle of being one of the more inconsistent Terps in recent memory and Landon Milbourne playing out of position down low, Vasquez has to let Mosley help him out.

But the onus will also be on Williams as he need to allow freshman Jordan Williams and James Padgett to gain more minutes and give the Terps a consistent inside presence and an advantage against perimeter oriented teams like Duke and others.

By no means does Maryland have the makings of a Final Four team, but with some good shooting from Adrian Bowie and Cliff Tuckerand with a little trust by Vasquezthe Terps could rise to the top shelf of the ACC and let Williams get some relief after a few tough recruiting years.