Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What's next for the Terps?

So with Maryland's basketball season now over, it's time to take a look at next season. What, too soon, you say? Well, let me offer a rejoinder. In the form of a question. And that question is: Do you see any laurels around here? What do you think. Where are the laurels? Why don't I go ahead and answer for you, cowboy. And, the answer is, you don't see any laurels. Why? Because Maryland doesn't freaking HAVE any freaking laurels, you freaking grease bag! If we ever get some laurels again, we will rest on them. But until then, it's back to work, buddy. For them, of course. Not me. I'm just writing a blog post.

So with this season now in the books, we purge bid farewell to the final links to the shipwrecked era that was the John Gilchrist/Travis Garrison/Nik Caner-Medley rein of underacheivement. With varying degrees of wistfulness, we say good-bye now to D.J. Strawberry, Mike Jones, Ekene Ibekwe, Gini Chukura, and Parrish Brown. But I think I'll miss Will Bowers most of all. So long, Will. Good luck doing whatever it is clumsy seven-footers with questionable haircuts do after college. Dunk contest prop? Light bulb installer? Shelf things-reacher? Human tether ball pole? I don't know about you, but I'm excited to see where the future takes young Will Bowers.

But as for next season. Who are we saying hello to? Well, we need some size. Right? So here comes Alexandria-by-way-of-England power forward
Shane Walker. In addition, have you ever heard of a city called Baltimore? Kind of a basketball hotbed, with a bunch of high school stars (most recently Carmelo Anthony) who hardly ever committed to Maryland? Well, we finally got some in 6-8 seemingly Lonny Baxteresque Braxton Dupree and 6-7 PF Dino Gregory. They seem a little undersized for big men, but it's still nice to see some positive developments on the Baltimore front.

DaJuan Summers doesn't want no Dino Gregory.
Get that mess out of here.

Also, are you thinking we could use a slasher? A little athleticism on the wing? Please welcome Adrian Bowie, a 6-4 penetrator from Montrose Christian. Montrose Christian is this really, really small school in Rockville, but it has had a lot of great players come out of there (some guy named Kevin Durant, etc.). But until Greivis Vasquez, no player from there had gone to Maryland since the ill-fated Exree Hipp signing in the early 1990s. Some people thought Gary Williams and the Montrose Christian coach were feuding, but if they were, they seem to have squashed it now, which is great news for both schools with Vasquez and now Bowie and potentially more blue-chippers on the way. Dare I use the word "pipeline?" Nah. Better not jinx it. But things are looking up.

(Also, here's one for your futures file: PG County high school sophomore and budding phenom Maurice Creek. He can apparently do it all, is a good kid, and is already getting interest from big schools like UConn and Syracuse. The kicker: he and his coach both badly want him to play for Maryland. No official interest yet from Maryland, although it is still very early. But this one seems gift-wrapped on a tee for the Terps. It will be extremely interesting to see what happens here.)

So add that to another year of experience for Vasquez and Eric Hayes (including the valuable juice of having made it to the tourney in their first year), plus some hopefully senior leadership out of James Gist and Bambale Osby, whose games took big strides this past season and could do so again now that they don't have to share touches with Crazy Ekene Ibekewe. More minutes for the physically gifted but seldom used SF
Landon Milbourne along with not-yet-used center Jerome Burney, and the team will have a considerably different look. Will this team show the consistency and resolve that its predecessors did not? Will they build on this season's tourney run? Will they acquire some laurels? Only TIME......will tell. Goterps.

Shane Walker profile [Scout.com]
Player Spotlight: Braxton Dupree profile [PressBoxOnline]
Bowie, Terps a perfect fit [Scout.com]
Key assist [Baltimore Sun]
Dino Gregory profile [Rivals.com]
Burney Finds Another ACC Home [Scout.com]
- Interest Booming for Creek [Scout.com]
Landon Milbourne profile [UMTerps.com]

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(photo credit: The Baltimore Sun)

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