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Terps Can't Look Ahead To ACC Opener

December 6, 2010

By Todd McElwee

Jordan Williams had 15 points and 11 rebounds against Penn State. (Mitch Stringer/PressBox)
With Sunday afternoon's visit from Boston College marking the beginning of ACC play, it would be easy for Maryland to overlook Wednesday's game against winless UNC Greensboro. But if the Terps have learned anything from recent seasons, it's the importance of not looking ahead to a conference opener. 

"We have to get better," Maryland head coach Gary Williams said after the Terps fell to Temple, 64-61, Sunday. "We're not good enough offensively yet. Rebounding tonight we could have done better. We can't throw it in to Jordan [Williams] and watch him. That doesn't work. We need play like Pe'Shon [Howard] and Terrell [Stoglin] gave us tonight. We need guys to step up.

"They didn't do everything right but they certainly played with a great deal of intensity. Right now if we can get that out of everybody, we're a team that's going to have to play nine or 10 guys. That's the nature of this team. We don't have any first-round draft picks so we have to do something."

Maryland has fallen to a mid-major team in College Park just before kicking off their ACC schedule during each of the past three seasons. Last year, 11 days before starting league play, the Terps were knocked off by William & Mary, 83-77, Dec. 30. They did rebound for a 97-63 win at UNC Greensboro on Jan. 3 before taking down Florida State, 77-68, at the Comcast Center a week later.

In 2008-09 the Terps shot 35.6 percent from the floor and were edged out by in-state rival Morgan State, 66-65, three days before Maryland's ACC slate began against Georgia Tech, who the Terps beat, 68-61.

Three seasons ago, the Terps followed up a Dec. 9 conference-opening loss at Boston College with two consecutive home losses -- games to Ohio (61-55) and American (67-59).

After this Sunday's tilt with the Eagles, Maryland won't resume league competition until a Jan. 9 trip to Duke. The Terps will face the New Jersey Institute of Technology, North Florida and Colgate at Comcast in the interim.

Playing their first true road contest, the Terps rolled in Happy Valley Dec. 1, topping Penn State, 62-39 during the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Four Terps scored in double figures including Jordan Williams, who registered 15 points and 11 rebounds.

"In the beginning of the game Penn State did a good job coming out and taking it to us," Gary Williams said after the PSU win. "We seemed to pick it up when we subbed early and that allowed us to get those guys that we subbed out back into the game in the first half and they played better from there. We were in pretty good shape, I thought our defense was consistent all night."

Last Wednesday the Terps won, 62-39, at Penn State during the ACC-Big Ten Challenge but fell to Temple 64-61 in the.

Trailing throughout their loss to Temple in the BB&T Classic at the Verizon Center Sunday, the Terps pulled within a bucket on a Terrell Stoglin jumper with five seconds remaining, but couldn't pull out the win. Jordan Williams and Stoglin led the way with 17 and 16 points each respectively.

"I'm very disappointed with the way we attacked Temple's defense early on," Gary Williams said. "They did a good job of just packing it in and we weren't aggressive taking the ball to the basket even though they were packing it in. In other words, we knew they play that kind of defense so the way to attack, dribble penetrate, that type of thing, and we just didn't do it."

Posted Dec. 6, 2010