Saturday, February 27, 2010

Blatche has huge game in Wizards loss

In a crazy/exciting game, the Wizards lost in overtime 118-116 to the New York Knicks. Down three points with 12 seconds left in overtime, Nick Young maneuvered around two New York defenders and hit a contested three-pointer to tie the game with 6.4 seconds to go. But after calling a timeout to get organized, the Knicks simply cleared out and gave the ball to David Lee, who drove right past JaVale McGee for a rather easy left-handed layup over McGee's outstretched right arm that looked way too easy.

Several Wizards players put together strong performances in the loss. Randy Foye scored 22 points (8-11 from the field) and dished out 10 assists in 41 minutes. Mike Miller had 12 points and two-three pointers to go along with six rebounds and five assists. And Al Thornton, in his second start since Josh Howard was lost for the season with a torn ACL, played 30 minutes and had 11 points, four rebounds, and five assists. McGee also played well -- 18 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks -- despite not starting because he was late to the team's shootaround.

But Andray Blatche played better than all of them, scoring 26 points (on 11-21 shooting), grabbing 18 rebounds, and even dishing out six assists in 51(!) minutes. According to, since 1986-1987, only seven other players have put together games of at least 26-18-6 while playing at least 50 minutes: Michael Jordan, Joe Barry Carroll, Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Webber, Kevin Garnett, Yao Ming, and Richard Jefferson. To narrow the list even more, only two players on that list (besides Blatche) shot over 50 percent in their respective games: Jordan and Shaq.

If you check out that list, you'll probably notice at least two things: 1) That's a pretty impressive group of players to be mentioned with, and 2) Blatche is the youngest player to put up a game like that.

Exactly how good can Blatche be? No one really knows the answer to that question. But let's take a look at his numbers since Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and Antawn Jamison were traded away six games ago.

Opponent Points Rebounds Assists FG% Turnovers
Minnesota 33 13 1 63.6 3
Denver 18 11 3 61.5 3
Toronto 24 6 3 52.4 1
Chicago 25 11 2 61.5 3
Memphis 24 8 5 52.6 4
New York 26 18 6 52.4 8

And here are the averages in those six games: 25.0 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 57.3 field goal percentage, and 3.7 turnovers. Turning the ball over 3.7 times is way too many, but that number is basically skewed by the eight Blatche committed against the Knicks. Then again, for basically the first time in his NBA career, he's essentially the team's first option on offense, so I'll cut him some slack. Also, for what it's worth, Blatche has averaged about 38 minutes per game over this stretch as well.

Blatche has been awesome lately. Can he keep it up?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Portis could have practiced more

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It's no secret that Clinton Portis didn't have the greatest 2009-2010 season. In the first eight games of the season, Portis rushed for 494 yards and one touchdown on 124 carries -- a 4.0 yards-per-carry average. In the Redskins' eighth game, against the Atlanta Falcons, Portis was hit hard and suffered a serious concussion that forced him to miss the team's remaining eight games.

But it's acceptable for Portis to acknowledge that he didn't have the greatest year -- the season obviously didn't go as planned for just about anyone with the Redskins. And out of all the positions on the field, running backs probably take the most abuse. However, it's entirely different for him to admit that he could have participated more or that he could have worked harder. If you can't watch the video, here's what Portis said: "The only thing I didn't do was participate in practices. Could I have participated in more? Yeah, I probably should have. Could I have fought through some? Yeah, I probably should have."

Portis goes on to say a few more things, such as that his situation was unfair, that he now has a chip on his shoulder, and that he wants to prove people wrong for doubting him (which is relevant because it looks as if Portis is going to remain with the Redskins in the upcoming season). Unfortunately, Portis seems to be missing the point. Working hard consistently isn't something that someone can just turn on and off -- it's a skill for someone to give that much dedication, and one that an aging running back certainly needs.

I've defended Portis and his antics from previous seasons before, but there's no chance of that happening here. He admitted that he didn't work hard enough even though he could have. And this is coming from someone who actually had the nerve to question Jason Campbell's leadership. Here what Portis said about Campbell at the time:

"No disrespect to Jason," Portis said while speaking with co-hosts Thompson and Doc Walker. "But everybody in that locker room can tell you, you'll never see Jason mad, you'll never see Jason's tempo change, you'll never see Jason get mad. He going to get up, dust himself off; he going to give you everything he got. But as a leader, you never heard -- it was always, 'Jason couldn't take control of the huddle,' or he didn't do this or he didn't do that. That wasn't Jason's character."

In retrospect, that certainly seems like a silly comment for Portis to make. Even if Campbell isn't the greatest leader ever, his work ethic can't be questioned and he was always there to take the blame if something went wrong (and for the Redskins, it frequently did).

If Portis really is going to return next season, I hope he can return to form. Maybe playing under Mike Shanahan again will give Portis a boost. He could use one.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Revisiting Maryland vs. Clemson

Even though Maryland (19-7, 9-3) lost by six to William & Mary in late December, the worst the Terps have looked this season was against Clemson on January 31 in a nine-point loss on the road. In that game, Maryland committed 26 turnovers, shot only 34.6 percent from the field, and were outrebounded by six. The Terps also made just two of 10 three-pointers and dished out only eight assists.

Maryland struggled against Clemson -- there's no denying that. The Tigers played phenomenal defense and forced Maryland to work for every single basket. The Terps turned the ball over way too much and never seemed to get in a rhythm. They were also bothered by Clemson's size: Trevor Booker (6'7) had two blocks, Jerai Grant (6'8) had four blocks, and David Potter (6'6) had two blocks. Jordan Williams (13 points, 13 rebounds) didn't receive much help in the paint from his teammates.

But that game took place almost a month ago, and since then Maryland has been on a roll, winning five conference games (Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia, N.C. State, and Georgia Tech) and losing just one (at Duke). Clemson has also played pretty solid basketball since beating Maryland, winning three of four (losing to Virginia Tech, then beating Florida State, Miami, and Virginia).

The odd thing about Clemson is how they win games. They aren't a particularly strong shooting team (45.9 percent), and they average more turnovers than assists (14.6 to 14.9). But they also can play pretty good defense and average nearly 10 steals a game. Basically, Clemson wins ugly games.

The Terps have won their share of ugly games, sure, but on paper are a better team: 47.6 field goal percentage, 38.2 percent from three-point range, 16.4 assists to 12.1 turnovers, 7.9 steals, and 5.0 blocks. Greivis Vasquez is possibly putting together his best season at Maryland, while Eric Hayes is doing the same and shooting threes at a 44.3 percent mark, his four-year best. Williams has improved dramatically since the start of the season, and Dino Gregory has given the Terps some size off the bench.

Playing at home, the Terps have the advantage this time around. But to pull out a win, Maryland needs to take care of the ball and actually make Clemson pay when they turn the ball over. Guard Demontez Stitt is back for the Tigers, which gives them another competent offensive option. Also, there's not much of a chance that Booker shots 2-16 from the field like he did in the first meeting.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wizards trade Jamison, then beat the T'Wolves

After the Wizards dealt Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood to the Mavericks in what was essentially a salary dump, most Wizards fans were hoping that Antawn Jamison would be the next Wizard to leave town -- not on a sour note or because he isn't a talented player anymore, but because this team needs a new direction. Relying on the "Big Three" of Gilbert Arenas, Jamison, and Butler simply wasn't working, and it was time to try something else.

Well, today the Wizards and general manager Ernie Grunfeld decided to do just that by trading Jamison to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the three-team deal that's being reported right now, the Wizards, in exchange for Jamison and Drew Gooden, will receive Zydrunas Ilgauskas and his $11.5 million expiring contract, a first-round pick from Cleveland, and forward Al Thornton from the Clippers. The Cavs get Jamison and Sebastian Telfair from the Clippers, while the Clippers receive Gooden, who the Wizards briefly acquired in the Mavericks deal.

With the trade, the Wizards gain lots of salary cap room. By dealing Jamison, the Wizards get rid of the remaining two years and over $28 million left on his contract after this season. And after the deals of Josh Howard ($10.9 million), Mike Miller ($9.8 million), Mike James ($6.5 million), Fabricio Oberto ($2.1 million), Javaris Crittenton ($1.5 million), Earl Boykins ($1.2 million), possibly Randy Foye ($3.6 million with a qualifying offer of $4.8 million), and now Ilgauskas all expire, the Wizards will be able to sign a few decent free agents if they desire.

There's no question that Grunfeld has a lot of work to do to fix this team, especially with the years and huge amount of money that is still due to Arenas. But the Wizards do have the rest of the season to see how good some of their young pieces are. Is Andray Blatche ready to step up and take over a leading role on this team? Can JaVale McGee improve his post defense and stop fouling so much? Can Nick Young prove to Flip Saunders that he's more than just a one-dimensional player? Will Foye prove that he can run the point and show that he can be a complementary piece to a winning team? How will Thornton fit in? That's a lot to find out, but those questions will probably need to be answered at some point -- along with figuring out who the next owner of the Wizards is going to be.

With some salary cap flexibility and a likely lottery pick in the upcoming draft, the Wizards have some things going for them. The next few weeks and months may get ugly, and Saunders will surely look frustrated more than a few times, but at least at this very moment there's a bit of hope that something good may be on the horizon for this team.


Oh yeah, and the Wizards actually played the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight, and won, 108-99. With a starting lineup of Foye, Young, Miller, Blatche, and McGee, the Wizards started slow but eventually started to right the ship in the second and third quarters. Blatche had a huge game and led the team with 33 points on 14-22 shooting and also grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds. Miller played a game-high 44 minutes and scored 17 points on just eight shots (and he was a perfect 5-5 from three-point range). McGee, who struggled to guard Al Jefferson in the first quarter, persevered and finished with 14 points (7-10 from the field), 11 rebounds, and five blocks.

As a team, the Wizards shot 47.7 percent from the field and outrebounded the T'Wolves 47-44. The Wizards also shared the ball for once, dishing out 10 more assists than Minnesota (24-14) and turning the ball over four fewer times (15-19).

The Wizards didn't play particularly great defense, and against good teams, such an effort would more than likely result in a loss. But the young guys got to play a bit, especially Blatche and McGee, and the Wizards hustled and moved the ball around. If they're going to play the rest of the season without Arenas, Butler, and Jamison, let them play this way, please.

Contract information via HoopsHype

Butler, Haywood fail to impress in first game with Mavs

In their first game with the Dallas Mavericks last night, Brendan Haywood and particularly Caron Butler didn't put up strong performances in a 99-86 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Haywood, who posted decent numbers -- seven points and six rebounds -- in 15 minutes off the bench, also posted a +/- of -16. Butler, however, played worse despite being placed in the starting lineup and getting 31 minutes. Butler scored 13 points on 4-16 shooting and turned the ball over four times while grabbing six rebounds and recording one assist, one steal, and one block.

Not to be left out, DeShawn Stevenson posted similarly awful numbers to his time with the Wizards this season (2.2 points, 1.6 rebounds, 28.2 field goal percentage). In five minutes, Stevenson missed his only field goal attempt and also had a turnover. Not that it necessarily contributed much to the loss, but does it really make any sense for a solid team like the Mavericks to give Stevenson any minutes at all?

It's just one game, of course, and the Mavericks must adjust to how both Butler and Haywood play and interact with Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, and Shawn Marion, etc. Also, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle must become familiar with the fact that Stevenson just isn't very good and shouldn't see the court unless five or six Mavericks happen to foul out of the game.

Monday, February 15, 2010

So the Wizards dealt Butler and Haywood -- now what?

On Saturday, the Wizards and Mavericks completed the first major trade of the 2009-2010 season. In the deal, the Wizards sent Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, DeShawn Stevenson, and cash considerations to the Mavericks in exchange for Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross, and James Singleton.

The addition of Butler and Haywood makes the Mavericks significantly better, while the Wizards were more concerned with dumping salary and... that's it, I guess. Howard has a team option of $11.8 million for next season, but there's no way the Wizards exercise that. Gooden's $4.5 million contract also expires after this season, as does Singleton's $1 million deal. The only player that Washington received who could still be in a Wizards uniform after this season is Ross, who will more than likely exercise his $1.1 million player option for next season.

So the Wizards saved a little money this year and about $13.5 million in 2010-2011 (around $15 million if Ross decides, for some reason, not to exercise his player option). Yet, as Mike Prada of Bullets Forever pointed out, the Wizards didn't save any money beyond next season with the deal. So, barring another cost-cutting move, like trading Antawn Jamison to Cleveland, etc., this trade doesn't make a whole lot of sense and seems a bit rushed. Still, if Ernie Grunfeld can find a way to ship Jamison out, it'll be a little easier to defend the trade.

Hopefully that move takes place, but we'll see what happens. Anyway, let's see what the Wizards got in return from the Mavericks.

Career Numbers PPG RPG APG FG% MPG
Josh Howard (29) 15.4 6.0 1.7 45.4 31.4
Drew Gooden (28) 11.8 7.8 1.1 47.1 27.3
Quinton Ross (28) 4.5 2.3 1.1 42.2 19.4
James Singleton (28) 3.3 3.1 0.4 47.9 11.1

2009-2010 Numbers PPG RPG APG FG% MPG
Howard 12.5 3.6 1.4 40.1 26.4
Gooden 8.9 6.9 0.6 46.7 22.2
Ross 2.0 1.0 0.3 41.1 11.1
Singleton 2.4 2.2 0.4 37.5 8.3

Looking at the above numbers, you can see that 1) the Wizards aren't exactly getting a ton of talent here, and 2) they're all within a year or two of turning 30. Also, all four players have had their minutes reduced this season, they're all shooting below their career averages, and because of both of those factors, they're all scoring fewer points. So did giving away any of these guys really hurt the Mavericks? Not really.

Howard has been described as a bad team guy, but you'd think he'd be on his best behavior in Washington now since he'll be looking for a new deal after this season. If he plays well, he may make himself a little bit of money in the offseason. Gooden isn't really great in any one area, but I'm sure Flip Saunders will give him at least a significant share of Haywood's minutes. Ross is one of the better perimeter defenders in the league, but he isn't much of an offensive player. And Singleton is extremely athletic but has never played more than 15 minutes per game in any of his four seasons in the NBA.

Still, this is the deal the Wizards made. So even though I hate to use a phrase like this, it is what it is. The Wizards wanted to shed some salary, and they gave up the two best players (Butler and Haywood) in the deal to do so. Maybe the Wizards could've gotten more from another team, but this is the trade Grunfeld made.

This is my wish for what the starting lineup looks like:

PG Randy Foye
SG Mike Miller
SF Josh Howard
PF Antawn Jamison
C Andray Blatche

The majority of the bench minutes could go to Nick Young, Earl Boykins (someone has to be the back-up point guard), JaVale McGee, Dominic McGuire, or any of the other three guys brought in via trade. However, I have a feeling that Saunders may not want to start Blatche and will opt for a similar lineup, with maybe Gooden or Fabricio Oberto at center. But I hope not. I'd also be shocked if Ross didn't see a lot of the court because he can actually play some defense.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bergesen strained shoulder shooting TV ad

What is going on with the Orioles lately? First, Adam Jones gets pulled over by a police officer in the middle of a radio interview, which leads to his mother defending his integrity online, and now, Brad Bergesen apparently "has a strained right shoulder capsule" that he injured while "shooting a TV commercial for the team in early December."

As I'm sure most Orioles fans remember, Bergesen's solid rookie season was cut short last July when Kansas City Royals slugger Billy Butler hit a line drive that struck Bergesen's shin, which ended his season.

According to the article, Bergesen hasn't been able to throw off a mound for two months. Here's what happened, with some quotes from Bergesen on the injury:

"I think initially I will probably be 10 days behind everyone, but I am not coming off a major arm injury or surgery," Bergesen told the Sun. "Once they feel I am capable of being on the mound and having good sessions, then I will be caught up to everyone."


The commercial shoot, filmed in an indoor batting cage at Camden Yards, was actually the first time he had thrown off a mound since sustaining the leg injury.

"Obviously, I hadn't picked up a ball -- I'm kicking myself in the head about it," Bergesen told the newspaper. "That's really what it was from -- not working on a mound up to that point.

"I just jumped up on the mound and gave it a go. I was trying to be game-speed. I was trying to be as realistic as possible with it. The production company that came in wanted it to be as realistic as possible. And I was trying to please, and I got caught up in a moment."

As long as Bergesen's back to 100 percent in a few weeks or so, this doesn't seem like a big deal. But it does seem a little misguided for Bergesen to blame the production company when, you know, the goal is to be able to pitch, not to make realistic team commercials.

According to Jeff Zrebiec and Dan Connolly, who first reported the story for The Baltimore Sun, if Bergesen isn't fully healed by Opening Day, either Jason Berken or David Hernandez could take his slot in the rotation. Hooray.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Orioles questions

A few days ago, I answered nine Orioles-related questions for my friend Daniel Moroz, who does a fantastic job of covering the Orioles over at Camden Crazies. So head over there to check out my answers, and if you haven't done so yet, make sure to take a look at the great material that Daniel produces.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV pick

There are a lot of storylines heading into tonight's game: Peyton Manning vs. Drew Brees; both No. 1 seeds facing each other; New Orleans finally getting to the Super Bowl; Dwight Freeney's ankle; the No. 1 Saints offense vs. the Colts' underrated eighth-ranked defense; Manning facing the ball-hawking defense of Gregg Williams; the somewhat improved play of Reggie Bush; and the solid contributions of receivers Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie. Both teams have a ton of offensive firepower, and no one would be shocked to see a shootout in this game.

As I've done all season, here's my pick for the final game:

Colts (-6) over Saints

I think the Colts have a significant advantage in this game: their offense against the Saints defense. The reason why the Saints defense had to work so hard to hit the quarterback in their two previous matchups -- the Cardinals and the Vikings -- is because they're not particularly great at stopping opposing offenses. The Saints completely dominated the Cardinals, but against the Vikings, the Saints were outgained 475-257 in yardage. Fortunately, the defense forced five turnovers (two Favre interceptions and three lost fumbles), and yet the Saints still needed an overtime field goal to get past Minnesota. Manning and the Colts will take much better care of the ball, and as long as they protect Manning, which they've done all season, scoring points shouldn't be much of an obstacle.

The Saints will get their points, but the Colts defense will force their share of three-and-outs and field goals. A healthy Freeney is important, but it's hard to believe that his ankle has healed enough to the point to allow him to dominate. Still, the Colts tackle well and don't make too many mistakes, which is a key to being able to stop a high-powered offense like the Saints have.

A Saints win would be great for the NFL -- and New Orleans -- but I just don't see them beating the Colts.

Colts 34, Saints 27

Regular season: 132-116-8
Playoffs: 5-5
Overall record: 137-121-8

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Adam Jones had an interesting day

According to Craig Calcaterra of Circling the Bases, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones called into a radio show yesterday. Pretty normal, right? Well, apparently not, since not only did Jones do so while he was driving somewhere, but he also got pulled over by a police officer in the middle of the interview. Here's what happened:

. . . Jones was being interviewed via telephone on XM Radio's MLB Home Plate show a few minutes ago. Not just via telephone, but via cell phone, and not just via cell phone, but via cell phone while driving down the freakin' highway. MLB Home Plate producer Brent Gambill tweets the details:

    Adam Jones pulled over by police on MLB Home Plate. He said to officer, "I'm really on interview right now. . . I have to hang up with the interview. Hold on 1, 2 seconds? Can I hang-up with you guys?"
He called back into the show a few minutes later. Turns out he was pulled over for his windows being tinted too dark. Brent isn't sure where Jones was calling from, but he lives in Arizona, and they don't have a cell phone-while-driving law, so he got off lightly.

Wow. It's good that it wasn't for something serious, though, just his windows.

Normally, that's where the story would end, because it's really not that big of a deal. But Adam Jones's mother wanted to "set the record straight" and dispute some of the statements made by Calcaterra's commenters. Yes, I'm being serious; check it out:

Let me clarify any misconceptions that are currently out there with reference to my son Adam Jones being pulled over during his interview. First of all, Jonesy was on his way to pick me up for our weekly lunch date and was doing the interview via his cell phone with which he wears a headset, even though the laws in our state do not require he uses one. Second, while driving and doing the interview he was pulled over for his windows being too dark and NOTHING ELSE!!!!! Adam is a very conscientious young man and he knows RIGHT FROM WRONG! Not being biased, I am being honest. If our state had a no cell phone or text law he would abide by it, but we don't. This was not the problem!!!! The problem was his tint on his windows and if any of you have ever been to Arizona when it is 117 degrees or higher here, you would understand the circumstances!!!!

Adam happened to come directly to me after the stop and the interview and explained the ENTIRE SCENARIO and I can the entire situation because I also live in AZ and have been told that MY WINDOWS ARE TOO DARK, so what would that make me? 6 out of every 10 cars in certain parts of Arizona a tinted due to the extreme heat factor, so before you start paasing judgement, come on out to AZ and get heated in the 117 DEGREE SWELTERING HEAT AND THEN WE CAN TALK! Until then, STEP!!!!


Andrea Bradley, mother of Adam LaMarque Jones, Centerfielder for the Baltimore Orioles

I agree, the whole thing sounds like a joke, but Calcaterra insists that it's really her and that her IP address checks out. Jones's mother also responded to at least five comments, trying to let people know what really happened and how responsible her son is. And you know what? Good for both of them. Just be careful out there, Adam, because you've got a bright future ahead of you.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Arenas admits wrongdoings in an op-ed for the Post

There's no question that Gilbert Arenas is dealing with a rather difficult situation right now. He has been suspended for the rest of the season, faces possible jail time after pleading guilty to a felony gun charge, and has lost several million dollars in the process. One of the best things that Arenas can do, though, is try to salvage his reputation by owning up to his mistakes and addressing the seriousness of what has transpired, and he has done just that in an op-ed published in The Washington Post today.

I highly encourage you to check out the whole thing, but here's the part that I felt was most interesting:

Last Tuesday, I wrote a letter to students in D.C. schools that was also about owning up to my mistakes. I said that I lost sight of the lesson I learned from Abe Pollin about how the responsibility to be a good role model comes along with the opportunity he gave me. I reiterate now the pledge I made to those students: that this is a responsibility I am not going to walk away from, that I will choose more wisely in the future and do my best to help guide children into brighter futures.

There have been few bright spots for me these past few weeks. But one came the night I played my last game this season at Verizon Center. I saw young fans were still showing up wearing my jersey. That meant more to me than I can say.

The relationship I have with young fans is very important to me. I realize now how easily I can damage it. I have to earn that respect and work to deserve it each and every day. I plan to do that work by partnering with public officials and community groups to teach kids to avoid trouble and learn from their mistakes, to strive for success by working hard and persevering, and to try to make the right choices.

Again, check out what Arenas (and his lawyers) have written. If nothing else, it shows that he's taking responsibility for what he's done and is ready to rebuild some relationships in D.C., if at all possible.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Maryland commits 26 turnovers, loses to Clemson on the road

After winning four games in a row and playing fantastic basketball, the Terps struggled against Clemson's pressure defense last night and fell to the Tigers 62-53. With the loss, the Terps drop to 4-2 in the ACC.

To be blunt, Maryland looked awful, and it would be difficult for them to play much worse. They turned the ball over 26 times, shot just 34.6 percent from the field, made only two of 10 three-pointers, were outrebounded by six (while allowing 15 offensive rebounds), and only dished out eight assists. And yet, the Terps still had a chance to win the game. After trailing by seven at halftime, Maryland eventually took a two-point lead with 8:20 left in the game, but they never led again. In fact, Maryland didn't even score in the last four minutes of the game.

Even though Clemson won the game and played well defensively, they looked terrible on offense, which obviously kept Maryland in the game. The Tigers shot just 31.9 percent from the field and had 21 turnovers. Also, their best player, Trevor Booker, only scored 10 points and shot an abysmal 2-16 from the floor. Then again, he did have 16 rebounds and four assists, so he stayed involved.

As for Maryland, freshman Jordan Williams (13 points, 13 rebounds) had a solid game, but no one else really did. Landon Milbourne only had three points (1-8 from the field), Eric Hayes had 11 points but turned the ball over five times, and Sean Mosley had a subpar game (eight points, five rebounds) but did pick up four steals. But the player who struggled the most was probably Greivis Vasquez, who scored 10 points on 3-11 shooting and turned the ball over nine times. Vasquez was taken out of the game early after picking up two quick fouls, and he never really seemed to get back in the game and wasn't able to get any kind of rhythm going. (By the way, this game featured a lot of ticky-tack fouls for such a physical game.)

This was the type of game in which Maryland needed Vasquez to hit a few buckets down the stretch to give the Terps a chance to pull out a win. The Terps weren't playing their best but still had a chance. But none of those shots fell. Also, Williams had a pretty quiet second half, though he did have a wonderful first half (10 points, nine rebounds). To be fair, he did seem to roll his ankle early in the second half, so that may have slowed him down.

It's tough for any team to win on the road in the ACC, especially when that team commits 26 turnovers. The Terps need to play much better to keep winning conference games, though things won't get much easier in their next game at Florida State on Thursday.