2009-2010 Maryland Terrapins Basketball Preview
Last season, the Maryland Terrapins (21- 14 overall, 7- 9 ACC) managed to get back to the Big Dance after missing it in 2007- 2008. The Terrapins, under the guidance of coach Gary Williams, have had their ups and downs after winning the national championship in 2002. In three of the past five years, they have been relegated to the NIT. Of course, this has resulted in a rash of criticism for coach Williams. Last year, the Terrapins, who finished seventh in the ACC, went two and out in the tournament.
Maryland held opponents to 69.1 PPG (5th I ACC) and scored 71.8 PPG (9th). More points this season could be a huge help. Last year, they were really hurt by their rebounding margin, which was last in the conference, and were 11th in field goal percentage, hitting just 42%. The good news was that the Terrapins were first in free throws, knocking down 76%.
Maryland lost one of their more dependable frontcourt players from last season, Dave Neal. However, two bulky freshman forwards, James Padgett (6-8, 225 pounds) and Jordan Williams (6-9, 245 pounds), will help improve the Terrapins in terms of size. Padgett looks to be a shot blocker and rebounder and Williams an effective offensive presence. Senior forward Landon Milbourne (11.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 0.6 APG) returns. He can score upfront or from the wing.
The backcourt caught a break when forward Greivis Vasquez (17.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 5.0 APG) made the decision to return to Maryland for his senior season. Vasquez is competitive, tough and a true leader. If there’s one player who can make a difference on this team, it’s him. In order to really make a huge difference, Vasquez needs to improve the consistency of his shot and his “D.” At the other guard spot, junior Adrian Bowen (9.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.5 APG) is able when driving to the hoop but dismal from three-point range. There’s some decent depth coming off the bench.
The Maryland Terrapins welcome back a wealth of experienced players and two quality recruits. How far they can go will depend upon the new guys in the frontcourt and Vasquez’s drive and determination in the back. This is a team that will contend for third or fourth in the league and should be bound for the Big Dance. However, it’s unlikely they’ll make it to the Sweet 16.