2005 Maryland Terrapins Basketball Preview
2005 Maryland Terrapins Team Preview
The big question for the Maryland Terrapins (a terrapin is a turtle) is which team will show up? It was sort of a tortoise and the hare situation last season with the Terrapins who missed the NCAA Tournament last year for the first time since 1993. Sometimes Maryland was the tortoise—defeating the soon-to-be National Champions Duke twice-- and then they were the hare—losing three times to Clemson, a team they should have beaten three times! They were a team that was unpredictable in the worst way—you never knew who was going to show up. And this season for the most part this is the same Maryland team that fans saw last year with four starters and six others coming back.
The one starter who did not return, guard John Gilchrist, may be as important as the four who are back with the club. Gilchrist gave the Terrapins 13.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 5.5 APG. But Gilchrist left Maryland early and with a bitter taste in his mouth; the talented guard felt more beat up off the court — often being blamed for the team’s game inconsistencies—than on the court.
It will be up to senior starting guard Sterling Ledbetter to
take up the slack. Ledbetter’s shooting percentages from
the court and the line are almost identical to his former teammate’s,
but his three-point percentage is a full fifteen points lower.
Still because of his ability to share the ball, Ledbetter may
not need that three-pointer.
A few elements making Maryland a force on the court include a backcourt with defensive prowess and height (each player is 6’ 4” or taller); one of the best two-way players in the ACC in senior guard Chris McCray, and a senior class frontcourt that seemed to score at will last year.
In 2004-05 McCray averaged 14.1 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, while 6’-8” senior forward Nik Caner-Medley threw in 16.0 points and 6.2 rebounds a contest. That’s impressive production and it should be even more impressive this season.
With better defense, a sound passer in Ledbetter, and veteran players chances are this Doctor Jekyll/Mister Hyde team of last year will find its rhythm and tempo early on in the season and with that a positive consistency on the court.
For more info on the 2005 Terrapins check out the official Maryland athletic site.