Could the Maryland Terrapins Be the Phoenix Suns of the ACC?

Jarrett CarterAnalyst INovember 17, 2009

Probably not, but Gary Williams and the Maryland Terrapins are going to give small ball a go tonight against Fairfield , and maybe throughout the regular season.

Tonight, Williams said, the No. 25 Terps (1-0) might use four guards at times against the Stags (2-0), who have out-rebounded their opponents by eight per game in wins over Fordham and Central Connecticut State. Guard Sean Mosley (St. Frances), who enjoys inside contact, is likely to be used frequently in the paint.

This indicates a couple of things. First, Jordan Williams and James Padgett, the two freshmen big men for the Terps, can either play and aren’t in good game shape, or are in good shape and can’t play very well at this point. Doesn’t make a lot of sense not to work those two into a flow against lower level competition so early in the season.

Secondly, four guards on the floor indicates that Maryland has supreme confidence in its perimeter shooting. We know that Sean Mosley went out and got himself a jumper in the offseason, and that Cliff Tucker and Greivis can deliver from the perimeter in streaks. But for this thing to really work and sustain against ACC competition, Eric Hayes and Landon Milbourne have to command respect outside of the paint as well.

And finally, the Terps have to be exceptional on-the-ball defenders. If they aren’t, they will get eaten alive by post entry passes and opponents’ trips to the foul line. If they can adopt a defensive mentality like Duke, who frequently makes up for a lack of athleticism with tenacity and good team defense, the Terps could very well pull this off.

If they don’t, it will just be four guards and a prayer until the frosh big men are ready to step in.

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