Saturday, February 21, 2009
My Terps beat North Carolina!!
Maryland has struggled this year as a team without an inside presence. Our tallest guy is 6'6" and we've had some appalling losses. Our shooting is unpredictable and every guy on the team seems to be off his shot when everyone else is too. The highlight has been some incredible free throw shooting, on the off chance we get to the line. In ACC play, Maryland doesn't get many breaks from the referees, even on the home court.
Our coach, Gary Williams, has been bashed by the fans who've asked for his head on a platter since we've missed the NCAAs 4 times in the last 5 years. An all-out media war between Gary and our not-so-nice AD, Debbie Yow, played out in the Baltimore Sun a little over a month ago. Airing dirty laundry and false accusations despite our President's request that Yow and her minions keep their mouths shut. It got nasty. And Gary did what Gary does the best - he pulled his players close with a "Us against the world" mentality and out came a team to be reckoned with.
Right after this fiasco, Maryland beat Miami and I called that a righteous win. It showed these kids can fight against adversity in the form of tensions within the AD department and a public flogging in the Washington Post. The Miami win made my year. As far as I was concerned, these guys had a successful season because they held their heads up, supported each other, and backed their coach 100 percent. And one guard, Greivis Vasquez, stood out of the crowd in his support of Gary Williams.
Now I know this is my breast cancer blog and this has nothing to do with that. But it does. I love basketball. I'm one of the few chicks on Helium that writes basketball articles to explain everything from how to increase vertical leap to expansion of the tournament. I follow recruiting (Lance Stephenson - you don't want to be at Kansas or UCLA - come here - WE LOVE YOU!!!) I'm thrilled that a potential MD player shattered a backboard in a high school game last week and it made the ESPN #2 highlight. This is nirvana for me :)
Greivis (aka the General) is from Venezuela. Tonight I saw his home country's flag in the crowd and I knew he had arrived. TV didn't do the gesture justice. Greivis had a breakout, incredible game tonight. His first triple double of 35 points, 11 boards, and 10 assists (sue, I know you realize the phenomal feat this really was).
He's one of just a few who've scored so many points and had a trible double against a top ranked team. Truly an amazing accomplishment for a kid who's struggled with acceptance this year. If we are lucky, we'll have this tremendous player back with us next year. He bleeds Terp red just like Juan Dixon did. What a kid! He's been bashed for his emotional play but that's what makes him unique and so like Gary.
Take happy and multiple it by 10. The whole world is perfect when my Terps win. Especially against UNC. Every year for the past 3 years, we've thunked a ranked North Carolina on our home court. It's sweet!
I want to add a shout out to Scott Van Pelt of ESPN even though I know he'll never see this. This great Terp put together some serious Terp highlight footage that I've been watching over and over again on ESPN. And he called Greivis Senor Huevos :) Love it, just love it!!
What a day! What a great day for us Terps. Will we make it to the tournament? Who knows?Do I care right now, not really.
Next up, Duke on Wednesday. They better beware of the General.