Sunday, March 22, 2009

Terps fall to Memphis

At times this season, Maryland simply looked overmatched against various teams. And that's exactly what happened on Saturday in the Terps' matchup with Memphis.

Freshman Tyreke Evans scored 19 points, and Doneal Mack hit five three-pointers as Memphis cruised past Maryland 89-70. Five Tigers scored in double figures, and as a team, Memphis shot over 58 percent from the field and made 10 of 19 three-pointers.

For all of his trash talk, Greivis Vasquez played moderately well with 18 points, five assists, and three rebounds. Adrian Bowie scored 11 points, and Eric Hayes chipped in with 10.

But the story of the game was Maryland's inability to stop Memphis on offense. Nothing Maryland did -- man-to-man, 3-2 zone, press, trap, etc. -- seemed to do anything to slow down the Memphis attack. It also didn't help that the Terps lost the rebounding battle 33-23.

But even though Maryland's season is over, the Terps still did something that only two other ACC schools, Duke and North Carolina, can say they accomplished this year: win an NCAA Tournament game. Boston College, Florida State, Wake Forest, and Clemson all lost to lower seeds in the tournament in the first round, and all four of those teams can claim to having better overall talent than Maryland. So Gary Williams deserves a ton of credit just for getting Maryland into the tournament this year.

As for a quick look at the 2009-2010 season, the only player that Maryland loses, at least for right now, is senior Dave Neal. Of course, Vasquez could decide to turn pro; he'd probably be taken in the second round if he left. But if everyone returns and Maryland gets some help in the frontcourt from incoming freshmen James Padgett, Jordan Williams, and (possibly) Lance Stephenson, there's no reason why they shouldn't be back in the tournament next season.

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

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