Hollow defeat

There are 32 comments on the Baltimore Sun story from Mar 3, 2008, titled Hollow defeat. In it, Baltimore Sun reports that:

Greivis Vasquez walked through the runway to the Maryland locker room and left others to observe the madness unfolding behind him.

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rich in parkville

Hanover, PA

#1 Mar 3, 2008
I watched them lose to virginia tech and florida the exact same way.
The only thing I can say is they are a good team that is very young. Remember, in pre-season talks, no one expected them to do very well. Wait till next year. GO TERPS!!!
Dequincey

United States

#2 Mar 3, 2008
The problem is well described, but without defining whose play stunk it up so remorselessly. I blame Vasquez for his sloppy ball handling and downright stupid decision-making. Clemson made point after point on Maryland turnovers, most of which seemed to orginate with sloppy passing and ball-handling by Vasquez. It is almost immaterial how many points he scores, you can't have somebody as wreckless as he running the point.

I guess being an O's fan has prepared me for the heartbreak of watching Maryland become a perenial bubble team. The bubble burst last night.
Dirk

Singapore, Singapore

#3 Mar 3, 2008
Vasquez has made terrible decisions habitually all year. Even though it doesn't always show up in the scoresheet (I'm talking to you, sportstalk hosts), he has terrible shot selection and really shouldn't be handling the ball all that much. But in fairness, this latest meltdown was a team (non-)effort.
patrick

Hyattsville, MD

#4 Mar 3, 2008
I do admire the fans like rich in parkville who are able to stay upbeat and optimistic (it's so discouraging to me (an ACC fan, first and foremost) that I can't even take pleasure in my statement that "you can't spell TERRAPINS without 'NIT'"). The thing is, given its history, resources, the conference it plays in and the fact that kids don't even have to graduate, Maryland shouldn't be a "perenial bubble team" (as Dequincey noted)-- they should be in the middle of March Madness every season. And I'm afraid this problem rests with one person: the head coach.
Big Mike

Bethesda, MD

#5 Mar 3, 2008
I sorry I can't blame this one on GV of MD. Your bench gave you that 20 point lead and if thier playing that hard to give you that 20 point lead let them play. Don't just pull them out and put them on the shelf again. If you noticed that Clemson was pressing,attack the press, it seems like they tried to run out the clock and got comfortable and Clemson took advantage. Maryland had the wrong people on the floor, like Milbourne and Hayes at the end of the game. Clearly they had bad games last night because Hayes couldn't stick with the speedy guard and Milbourne's offense and defense just wasn't there. Bowie and Cliff Tucker were having a great game. If you blow a 20 point lead and make no changes that's a coaching issue. Gary has done that before and blew a 10 point lead in 12 seconds to Duke remember.
mike

Stockbridge, GA

#6 Mar 3, 2008
Yes, it was awful....but they need 2 wins to get to the NCAAs....that would make them 20-13 and 9-7 in the ACC (the top rated RPI conference). No way they dont get a bid at that point...but who has confidence at this point they can pull that off...?
gary

Brighton, MI

#7 Mar 3, 2008
They choked, thats it simple. If you notice with about 3 minutes left no one wanted to shoot the ball. Gist had about 6 shots and passed off the ball. I keep saying all the time turnovers kill this team. Again they had 20ty some turnovers. Vasquez no matter how good he is, constantly costs us the games. He has no control of the ball. Maryland should not go to the tournament, they don't deserve to. Plain and simple they choked....
Straight Shooter

Denver, CO

#8 Mar 3, 2008
When pressed in December we turned the ball over but it was early so we had time to practice and learn to deal with it, when pressed in March we are still turning the ball over.... doesn't seem like we learned a thing all year about 'how to' break the press. Way to Coach `em up Gary.
Sugarbear

Glenside, PA

#9 Mar 3, 2008
Sure Vasquez is a turnover machine but atleast he has some cajones. Milbourne and co. are soft and scared.
Mr Basketball

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#10 Mar 3, 2008
Once again Baltimore Sun columnists get it wrong. Clearly the turning point emotionally was when Williams put in McAlpin with MD up 20 and 11 minutes left in the game. It signaled to his team that he thought the game was over. That's the way they played from that point on. You shouldn't take your foot off the gas until there is a minute left and you're up by 15 or more. Didn't Gary learn his lesson when Duke came back by 10 with 50 seconds left to beat him several years ago? Terrible coaching decision. That, along with Vasquez's showboating and terrible ball handling cost us the game.
Mike From PA

Baltimore, MD

#11 Mar 3, 2008
Can you say NIT?? Maybe. The worst choke ever from The Terps. From players to the coach they choked. The Tigers had the bus warming up when The Terps stopped what had put them up by 20. Instead on doing what they were, they started trying not to lose instead of kicking the Tigers when they were down. What happened to getting the ball inside and putting pressure on the interior of the Tigers. Too many jumpers and NOT enough TEAM here. This team has NO KILLER, let's put them away mentality. The bad passes (more then 20 turnovers AGAIN), to the lack of energy, to some bad calls (at least 3 in the final 2 minutes). How many times did Clemson go over the back for a rebound?? No fouls?? The steal from Gist with about 48 seconds to go was also a foul not called. Still the Terps should have been trying to win instead of trying not to lose......They can only blame themselves period. Clemson took advantage and the rest is folklore now.
JC from College Park

Alexandria, VA

#12 Mar 3, 2008
Vasquez walked off the floor at the end of the game without shaking hands with the Clemson team. That is unacceptable behavior. It was a very emotional game, and an incredible hard loss to swallow, but that is no excuse not to shake hands. He's pathetic and he should be suspended for the final against UVA.
Running Cloud

Cumberland, MD

#13 Mar 3, 2008
The Terps meltdown was mental. They thought they had the game wrapped up. This attitude certainly was boosted when Williams sent McAlpin into the game somewhere around the 10-minute mark. Whatever the reason, Williams sent the team the message that the game was already won. I blame Williams for the loss.
The Curse

Linden, IA

#14 Mar 3, 2008
Well Terps, your assignment is very, very simple: beat Virginia two times in a row (next weekend & in ACC 1st round)...and then you have have at least a CHANCE of getting into Dance by beating Wake/FSU/GTech in 2nd rd. 3 Straight & you're in. So are you mentally tough to win three in a row when it's do or die? when the other teams now know that pressing & trapping & in-face D will rattle you? We shall see....
Scruff

Baltimore, MD

#15 Mar 3, 2008
This team doesn't deserve to make the NCAA tournament. I am, and always have been, a die-hard Terp and fan. But this team is horrible. Even with flashes of brilliance (such as their win over NC), this has been a group of playground players never able to come together as a team. Vasquez is not a point guard. Every game I've seen he has more turnovers than assists.

Maybe the younger class will do better next year as they showed a lot against Clemson last night. But the starting 5 should just be happy that they won enough this year to be eligible to play in the NIT, let alone the NCAAs.
Mack

Asheboro, NC

#16 Mar 3, 2008
Note to Gary. That game showed what you're made of.
Tiger Heart

Wilmington, NC

#17 Mar 3, 2008
Clemson dug in their claws and took this game away from the Terrapins. The Tigers have a very formidable team now. Those who lay all the blame on the Terps aren't facing the reality. The Clemson Tigers are playing good basketball for a change. Look out!
goterps

United States

#18 Mar 3, 2008
Team that press like Maryland HATE to be pressed. Clemson's press was one of the differences in the game. I've said it a million times. Why is Eric Hayes still starting? He can' match up in the set offense or in transition. He can't match up defensively. TUCKER should be starting at the 2 spot. Maryland would have a sizable height advantage at both guard spots and another guy in Tucker who can create points. AGAIN, it's not like the Terps are loaded with scorers. Bowie can play too and should have gotten 10 minutes in the second half. McAlpin? GARY, what planet are you on? Bowie was taking it to the hoop and his style of play was perfect to match up against Clemson. AND, the Terps needed another ball-handler. In the end, with two more highly regarded guards joining the program next year, Hayes is going to transfer anyway. GARY, wake up. Make the roster change you should have made 5 weeks ago. It's your only chance at getting into the NCAA's.(I'll take a pass on the recruiting angle for now)
TATE THE UNGREAT

AOL

#19 Mar 3, 2008
HANG IN THERE COACH.
Bmore Chris

United States

#20 Mar 3, 2008
I agree with those who said Williams sent the wrong message to his team when he put McAlpin back in the game with a 20-point lead. Even though they got the lead back up to 13 inside of 5 minutes, the damage had long been done.

I have been one of Gary Williams' most ardent supporters over the years, but his act is growing old. Save for the National Championship team, Gary's teams have two recurring flaws that invariably lead to more painful, unnecessary losses like the one from last night. They can't put teams away when they get double-digit leads, and they play down to their level of competition. I'm tired of it. Duke and UNC blow out who they should blow out, and do not surrender big leads. It would be nice to see the Terps do the same. But as one guy noted, maybe this team isn't as talented as we think they are.

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