Archive for March, 2010

Terps big night
March 20, 2010

Jordan Williams stole the headlines.  21 points, 17 rebounds, and a million grins from Maryland fans as they ponder the possibilities with Williams in College Park three more seasons.

Landon Milbourne poured in 19, his greatest point total since the same amount against Longwood on January 19th.

Eric Hayes looked smooth and confident, same for Adrian Bowie.

And Greivis?  Vasquez posted decent numbers with 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.  But only four points at the half for the ACC Player of the Year, and not a single patented shimmy.

Yet, Greivis Vasquez had the best game last night for any Terrapin.

That seems to make about as much sense as Barack Obama dissing Gary Williams as he filled out his Presidential Bracket (I guess I should capitalize that, right?)

But it’s true.  Greivis Vasquez ran the Terps flex offense to perfection, assuring total involvement from his teammates.  Vasquez knows he can take 25 shots a night and maybe put together an epic performance on the game’s grandest stage.  Maybe one like his triple double at Chapel Hill last season.  But he chose not to.  He embraced his leadership role be deferring, building confidence of others, others he knows he’ll need if Maryland is to run past Michigan State in the 2nd round (and then maybe Northern Iowa in the Sweet 16, as I’m typing Panthers by a dozen over Kansas in the 2nd half).

It was a true display of maturity for the senior guard who says he wants to leave a lasting legacy, to be join the mantle of Terrapin greats.  Backing up words with deeds makes for a nice start.

All America Teams
March 11, 2010

Glad to see I have a little S.I. jinx quality in me.  I voted for Jim Boeheim today as coach of the year, and his Orange immediately get drubbed out of the Big East Tourney.  That said, for a team not ranked in the preseason (not afraid to rectify a wrong here huh?) Syracuse proved one of the best in the country.  Gary Williams was in my conversation for the award (having more and more conversations with myself, and more arguing).

Midway through the season, Evan Turner leapfrogged John Wall for player of the year.   Not only consistently good, consistently great.  And he put together this fantastic season while suffering a small fracture in a vertebrae.  Tough and great= POY.

Filling out 15 for the All America teams took hours of research, particularly for the 3rd team.  There were so many incredible players left off, most of them guards.  But the parameters said each five should resemble a team that could take the court together, so my apologies to Jacob Pullen, LaceDarius Dunn, Matt Bouldin, and Devan Downey.    With that,  here’s my tally.

A.P. Men’s Basketball Player of the Year:

EVAN TURNER – OHIO STATE

A.P. Mens’ Basketball Coach of th Year:

JIM BOEHEIM – SYRACUSE

A.P. Men’s Basketball 1st Team All America:

EVAN TURNER – OHIO STATE

JOHN WALL – KENTUCKY

GREIVIS VASQUEZ – MARYLAND

JAMES ANDERSON – OKLAHOMA STATE

DAMION JAMES – TEXAS

A.P. Men’s Basketball 2nd Team All America

SCOTTIE REYNOLDS – VILLANOVA

WESLEY JOHNSON – SYRACUSE

DEMARCUS COUISINS – KENTUCKY

SHERRON COLLINS – KANSAS

LUKE HARANGODY – NOTRE DAME

A.P. Men’s Basketball 3rd Team All America:

JON SCHEYER – DUKE

MALCOLM DELANEY – VIRGINIA TECH

JIMMY FREDETTE – BYU

OMAR SAMHAN – SMC

GREG MONROE – GEORGETOWN

Next to last Poll of the Year
March 8, 2010

We’re almost there.  The very bestest time of year.  Championship week under way, setting the field for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  No other event compares (which makes the whole trying to tweak the field a little puzzling, but I guess more is better). And this season, Maryland fans may simply enjoy the ride rather than sweat the bubble.

The Terps earned the 2nd seed in the ACC Tourney, are a lock for the NCAA’s, and could conceivably earn a three seed come selection Sunday.

And most exciting about the madness almost among us? We have no clear cut favorite. Kansas is my new number one, returning to the top spot in the polls again, but the Jayhawks haven’t exactly decimated the field like North Carolina a year ago. Realistically, about a dozen teams possess something close enough to the needed formula to cut down the nets in four weeks. Saddle up.

Here’s my ballot this week. Next week, our last poll, will also include All America teams, player of the year, and coach of the year votes.

  1. Kansas
  2. Kentucky
  3. Syracuse
  4. Purdue
  5. Ohio State
  6. Duke
  7. New Mexico
  8. West Virginia
  9. Butler
  10. Kansas State
  11. Villanova
  12. Tennessee
  13. Pittsburgh
  14. Gonzaga
  15. Wisconsin
  16. Maryland
  17. Michigan State
  18. Georgetown
  19. Baylor
  20. Texas A&M
  21. Vanderbilt
  22. BYU
  23. Temple
  24. UTEP
  25. Northern Iowa

Without Question: Vasquez gets Gold Medal
March 4, 2010

By definition and design, player of the year awards are a popularity contest.  They’re subjective, argumentative, wonderful fodder for sports talk radio.  But the last four days have offered us clear, unequivocal evidence in the race for ACC Player of the Year.

By February 27th three candidates earned distinction.  Virginia Tech’s Malcolm Delaney, Duke’s Jon Scheyer, and Maryland’s Greivis Vasquez without question headed the three horse race.  Then, as if the schedule makers had a little Nostradamus  in them, the combatants squared off in the final week of the season.

Saturday in Blacksburg, Delaney offered a nice effort.  27 points including the game tying drive forcing the first overtime.  Again, nice effort.  But Vasquez took nice to the next level with a career high 41 in a double overtime victory.  No arguing: Vasquez>Delaney.

Then Wednesday night in College Park.  On a night where emotions have not been higher for Greivis Vasquez, which is akin to, Tiger Woods never felt more humiliated than during his stripper acceptance speech, the senior from Caracas channeled that energy into greatness.

His off balance runner inside of a minute to play to seal a Maryland victory defined his night.  Jon Scheyer meanwhile had an opportunity late as well,  but failed.  Again, no arguing: Vasquez>Scheyer.

Enjoy the highlights:

First Poll of March
March 1, 2010

The Terps gain re-entry to the AP Top 25 as my voting brethren finally concur with me.  Maryland shows the best team quality right now, the one that simply has them find a way to win.  Trailing at home or on the road doesn’t matter with three senior starters and a freshman that plays like a veteran.

Greivis Vasquez earns the headlines, and rightfully so, but the collective will of the Terps has them poised for something special.  Duke at Maryland on Wednesday will test my belief in this team.

A new number one after Kansas and Kentucky fell flat on Saturday.  I went with Syracuse out of the three two loss teams because they just beat down a top ten opponent in late February.  The Orange pass the eye test better than anyone in the NCAA right now.

Here’s my ballot for this week with actual AP ranking in parenthesis:

1. Syracuse (1)
2. Kansas (2)
3. Kentucky (3)
4. Kansas State (5)
5. Duke (4)
6. Purdue (7)
7. Ohio State (6)
8. New Mexico (8)
9. Villanova (9)
10. Butler (12)
11. West Virginia (10)
12. Pittsburgh (17)
13. Tennessee (16)
14. Georgetown (19)
15. Gonzaga (18)
16. Wisconsin (15)
17. Michigan State (11)
18. Vanderbilt (14)
19. Maryland (22)
20. Texas A&M (23)
21. Temple (20)
22. Baylor (21)
23. BYU (13)
24. UTEP (24)
25. Oklahoma State (NR)