Maryland Refuses To Feed The Post

Posted by KCarpenter on January 24th, 2012

Being a big man is tough. Your job is to set screens, battle for position, and when you get it, hopefully your guards will get you the ball so that you have a chance to score. Failing that, you can always hope to grab an offensive rebound from a missed shot for a putback. Good coaches of course get their big men to do more complicated things than that, but boiled down to the bare essentials: This is the life of a forward or center.

If you have a big man who is skilled on offense, you want him to get as many touches of the ball as possible to give him plenty of chances to score. In general, this is the easiest way to score in college basketball (provided you have a skilled offensive big man). For some reason, Maryland has decided to ignore this principle. The Terrapin forwards and centers take a good number of shots, but it’s mostly due to their own skill at getting offensive rebounds. Outside of that facet of the game, the Terrapin big men barely get a chance to score. At least, that’s what my eyes kept telling me after watching Maryland play against Temple and Florida State. So I decided to go to the numbers and check.

Poor Maryland Bigs

Sure enough, outside of super role-player Miles Plumlee, the main three Terps in the frontcourt rotation have fewer field goal attempts per game than any of the other talented rebounding forwards in the ACC once offensive rebounds per game are subtracted. This is odd, because though Maryland has the near-magical scoring power of Terrell Stoglin, this is a team that often has trouble on offense. While Sean Mosely is a very capable offensive player, Pe’Shon Howard and Nick Faust have not provided any kind of offensive efficiency from the guard position, posting offensive efficiency ratings of 80.0 and 83.9, respectively. That’s ugly. Meanwhile, touch-starved James Padgett, Ashton Pankey, and Alex Len are posting offensive efficiency ratings of 108.4, 113.4, and 96.5, respectively. Padgett and Pankey’s ratings are easily the second and third best on the team after Stoglin, and Len’s lower rating (caused by turnovers) hides the fact that he leads the team in true shooting percentage with an incredibly solid 63.0% mark.

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ACC Game On: 11.18.11 Edition

Posted by KCarpenter on November 18th, 2011

ACC Game On will periodically review recent games involving ACC teams and take a look forward to key upcoming matchups.

The streak is over. The Atlantic Coast Conference’s short reign as the only undefeated conference in college basketball came to an end last night as both Georgia Tech and Maryland fell in the opening round of their respective tournaments. Against Saint Joseph’s and Alabama, neither team could figure out ways to score, particularly from long range. Georgia Tech and Maryland went a combined 3-24 from behind the arc.

While Georgia Tech was able to successfully go inside to manufacture some offense, the Yellow Jackets’ inability to stymie Saint Joseph’s perimeter attack (the Hawks shot over 50% on three-pointers) compounded with GT’s own terrible three-point shooting added up to a  thirteen-point loss. Where Georgia Tech was able to at least have some success on offense, Alabama completely shut down Maryland. In addition to going 2-12 on threes, the team shot 26.5% from the field. On a Maryland team whose strength is supposed to be guard play, Alabama held the Terrapins’ starting trio of Sean Moseley, Terrell Stoglin, and Nick Faust to 2-23 combined shooting. That’s right, Maryland’s starting guard rotation shot 8.6% from the field. While it would be nice to give all credit to the sensational Alabama defense that didn’t allow a single Maryland player to score in the double figures, the truth is that it wasn’t all Alabama. Maryland played poorly and looked lost on offense. If Maryland is going to win more than a handful of games this year, the backcourt is simply going to have to play better.

Shaka Smart's VCU Rams Will Take On The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Charleston

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ACC Morning Five: 10.03.11 Edition

Posted by mpatton on October 3rd, 2011

Welcome to the first ACC Edition of the Morning Five. Every weekday morning we’ll highlight links from local and student papers concerning ACC hoops.

  1. Raleigh News and Observer: new NC State head coach Mark Gottfried spent time last week selling his program to the Raleigh Sports Club. Gottfried discussed NC State’s illustrious basketball past as well as his plan for revitalizing the program’s future. Gottfried was pretty succinct and bluntly honest about the present. As for concrete evidence for his vision of the future, Gottfried mentioned scheduling a home-and-home series with Kansas. He even managed to send a jab back at one of the future members of the ACC: “Jim Boeheim popping off up there that he thinks it needs to be in New York. He needs to get in the league first, before he starts making demands on the league.”
  2. Baltimore Sun – Recruiting Report: with Maryland‘s depleted roster the Terrapins will rely heavily on returning players like Sean Mosely to minimize Jordan Williams’ departure. While he’s only 6’4″, new coach Mark Turgeon expects Mosely to see time at power forward this year. Mosely is Maryland born and Maryland bred, a truly historic player at the state high school level. He was expected to be Williams’ sidekick last season on a Maryland team that never lived up to preseason expectations, but his numbers declined significantly from a strong sophomore campaign. This year Turgeon will need Mosely more than ever to help sophomore stud Terrell Stoglin carry the scoring load for the team.
  3. Durham Herald Sun: North Carolina is looking to replace athletic director Dick Baddour (who is set to step down following the NCAA Committee of Infractions meeting later this month), and the selection committee is looking for experience in hiring coaches and demonstrated NCAA compliance. Both qualifications make sense, as the Tar Heels are currently searching for a new football coach, and the university wants to both have a strong arm to deal with compliance–not to mention sending a message to the NCAA that the university is serious about it.
  4. The Chronicle (Duke‘s student newspaper): “The NCAA is broken.” Duke student Andy Moore checks in on a topic of much recent debate largely spawned Taylor Branch’s Atlantic piece. The most interesting quote from the piece comes from Duke’s Charles T. Clotfelter, Z. Smith Reynolds Professor of Public Policy: “What is happening now gives everyone the benefit from the market except the athletes [...] They’re kept out because the universities have made a deal not to pay them. In economics, we call that a cartel.” Moore also attacks the pettier NCAA rules, using two examples of recent NCAA violations which hurt Duke basketball over the past couple of years including Mike Krzyzewski‘s overblown summer recruiting violation and Nolan Smith‘s suspension for playing in a game not approved by the NCAA.
  5. The Old Gold and Black (Wake Forest‘s student newspaper) and The Collegiate Times (Virginia Tech‘s student newspaper): ACC expansion has been a hot topic lately with the additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh from the Big East. Many college football reporters scoffed at the move, saying it dilutes an already weak product. However, ACC basketball fans salivate at the prospect of seeing Jim Boeheim’s 2-3 zone and Pitt’s offensive rebounding prowess grace the courts of the ACC (ignoring for the moment any instability it causes the Big East). Wake Forest’s Evan Quinn notes that the move will only make it harder for a struggling Demon Deacon team to compete in the conference. Virginia Tech’s Alex Koma wants the conference to look at West Virginia and Connecticutto fill out the ACC at 16 members.Author’s Note: for the record, I disagree. I think the ACC should hold tight on expansion unless a jackpot team (i.e. Notre Dame) comes to its doorstep looking for a home.
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Conference Report Card: ACC

Posted by Brian Goodman on April 28th, 2011

Matt Patton is the RTC correspondent for the ACC.

Conference Recap

The ACC had a down year though North Carolina’s Kendall Marshall-led resurgence and Florida State’s Sweet Sixteen appearance helped a little bit. Before and during the season, Duke was the runaway favorite in the conference: Kyrie Irving’s toe injury obviously was the pivotal point that brought Duke back down to earth. Equally pivotal (in the reverse direction) was Marshall’s move to starting point guard for North Carolina. With Larry Drew II at the helm, there is no way the Tar Heels could have come close to surpassing Duke for the regular season title. The down year did not really surprise most people, and despite lofty preseason expectations (read: people forgot how highly rated North Carolina was to start the season) I think the perception is that the league at least lived up to preseason expectations with a couple of notable exceptions: NC State, Wake Forest, and Virginia Tech. NC State had NCAA Tournament talent, but did not come anywhere close to sniffing the Big Dance; Wake was arguably the worst major conference team in the country; and Virginia Tech once again found itself very highly seeded in the NIT. On the flip side, Clemson and Florida State both exceeded expectations.

Roy Williams and Kendall Marshall led a mid-season resurgence that resulted in a trip the Elite Eight. (News Observer/Robert Willitt)

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Checking in on… the ACC

Posted by rtmsf on December 7th, 2009

checkinginon

Steve Moore is the RTC correspondent for the ACC.

A few interesting games in the last week (mostly by those wearing Carolina blue), and the debut of conference play. And yes, I know the ACC lost the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, but that has a lot to do with the matchups, and a weak lower tier of the ACC. More on that below. Let’s get right to the rankings:

ACC POWER RANKINGS (record as of Monday, Dec. 7)

1. North Carolina (7-2, 0-0)

PAST: The Tar Heels slide just past Duke this week (barely), despite a tough loss at Kentucky on Saturday. Deon Thompson and Will Graves led a valiant second-half rally for UNC, but a loss in Lexington is nothing to be ashamed of right now. Oh, and there was that up-and-down, 89-82 shootout win over Michigan State. So there’s that.

FUTURE: After a double-dip week like that, UNC deserves a week off, and they’ll get it. The Heels host Presbyterian on Saturday. But another test awaits at Texas on Dec. 19.

2. Duke (7-1, 0-0)

PAST: Don’t go crazy there, Dookies. I know you were No. 1 last week, and losing on the road to a Bo Ryan-coached Wisconsin team isn’t anything to worry about. Heck, just getting back safely from Madison in December is a victory. But you did let St. John’s back in the game on Saturday, and have shown a few chinks in the armor – like the inability to shoot? Duke ranks 10th in the ACC in shooting percentage, shooting just 45%.

FUTURE: Duke does not play at all this week, before facing Gardner-Webb and Gonzaga (at MSG).

3. Georgia Tech (6-1)

PAST: Wins over Siena and USC came by an average of 19.5 points, and the Jackets’ defense continues to impress. With Derrick Favors (2.1 blocks per game), Gani Lawal (10.3 rebounds/game), Tech controls the middle. The perimeter defense ain’t bad either, as teams are shooting less than 25% from beyond the arc against the Wreck.

FUTURE: No games this week for the Jackets, with two cupcakes the week after.

4. Wake Forest (5-2, 0-0)

PAST: The Deacons lost at Purdue, while last week’s No. 4, Clemson, lost at Illinois. No shame in either loss, but Wake’s big win at Gonzaga on Saturday earns the rankings bump. There are not many trips in America tougher than one to Spokane, especially when going cross-country and coming off that loss to Purdue. Wake is holding opponents to just 36% shooting, and Al-Farouq Aminu is averaging more than 10 boards per game.

FUTURE: No games this week, and – in all honesty – no real challenges until 2010.

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RTC Conference Primers: #2 – ACC

Posted by rtmsf on November 6th, 2009

seasonpreview

Steven Moore is the RTC correspondent for the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Predicted Order of Finish:

  1. North Carolina (13-3)
  2. Duke (12-4)
  3. Clemson (10-6)
  4. Maryland (10-6)
  5. Georgia Tech (9-7)
  6. Wake Forest (8-8)
  7. Boston College (8-8)
  8. Virginia Tech (7-9)
  9. Florida State (6-10)
  10. Miami (5-11)
  11. Virginia (5-11)
  12. North Carolina State (3-13)

All-Conference Team (with 2008-09 per-game averages):

  • Greivis Vasquez (G), Sr., Maryland – 17.5 points, 5 assists, 5.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 33% 3-pt
  • Malcolm Delaney (G), Jr. Virginia Tech – 18.1 points, 4.5 assists, 4 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 35% 3-pt
  • Kyle Singler (F), Jr., Duke – 16.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.5 steals, 39% 3-pt
  • Trevor Booker (F), Sr., Clemson – 15.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2 blocks
  • Ed Davis (F), Soph., North Carolina – 6.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.7 blocks

6th Man. Gani Lawal, F, Georgia Tech – 15.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks

Impact Newcomer. Derrick Favors, F, Georgia Tech

acc logo

What You Need to Know.

With Tyler Hansbrough off saving puppies in cell phone commercials, and Greg Paulus quarterbacking a sub-par college football team, who is left to watch in the ACC this year?  Well, as you might have expected, the prime candidates will both wear a shade of blue and still play on Tobacco Road.

But don’t sleep on those in purple, red, or even Yellow Jacket gold.

North Carolina and Duke set a new record for ACC equality this season when they equally shared the top spot in the coaches’ preseason poll. Their Feb. 10 showdown in Chapel Hill is already circled on every hoop fan’s calendar, while their season-ending tilt in Durham (March 6) already has Dick Vitale in a tizzy. The reigning National Champs lost not only Hansbrough, but also Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green. And still, they are expected to win the ACC, thanks to a new shift of power to the frontcourt (more on that later). Duke also may rely heavily on its big men, which is a change of pace, since jump-shooting, floor-slapping guards usually reign supreme at Cameron Indoor.

Without those big names, you might think the ACC is lacking in star power this season. But if you want to be the smartest guy (or girl) in the room, tell your friends to watch Greivis Vasquez play. Make them sit down and watch a Maryland game. Just do it. The guy is pure energy, and always looks like he’s having the time of his life. Kyle Singler and even Trevor Booker might be the names you hear in 2010 NBA Draft projections, but Vasquez will have more to do with his team’s success than any other player in the conference.

While the Heels and Devils battle it out, the most interesting ACC subplot may lie in the race for NCAA Tournament berths. Don’t be surprised to hear Digger and Bilas discussing as many as eight or even nine possible candidates come February. While Clemson, Maryland, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest seem like prime candidates for dance tickets (and even top-6 seeds) come March, Virginia Tech, Florida State and even Boston College and/or Miami could be in the conversation with a few key wins.

That’s the one great equalizer for the lower-tier teams in a conference like the ACC. Steal one or two big wins against the Dukes, North Carolinas and Clemsons (especially on the road), and you’ll be hard to ignore in that selection room.

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