Testudo Times answers questions about the Maryland Terrapins

I e-mailed Ben Broman of Testudo Times to learn a thing or two about this season's Maryland squad. Here is our exchange...

FTRS: Jordan Williams only scored 16 points in two games against Gani Lawal and Derrick Favors last season. How has he improved since last season and what are your predictions on his points total in Sunday's game? We're predicting somewhere in the triple digits.
Ben: Jordan's trimmed down a lot (he's not svelte, but he's definitely not as hefty as he was), and that's contributed to his overall game quite a bit. He can play more minutes, he's more agile, and he can run the court even better than he did last year. He's still a little awkward, but there are very few holes in his game. He's even learning how to pass out of double teams and is getting a solid mid-range jumper, if he has to use it.

The problem comes mentally for him now. He was relied upon so heavily early in the year that it appears it got to him. He takes the first shot he can get and seems to get easily frustrated when they don't fall. He's struggled the past few games and his body language has been surprisingly questionable. Free throws, which are his biggest weakness at this point, are the exact opposite: his stroke is fine, but it's almost as if he steps to the line expecting to miss, and then it happens.

Jordan's not complete yet, but he's still one of the best post players in the ACC. I'll guess 15 and 11.
FTRS: Milbourne, Hayes, and Vasquez played big roles in the Maryland games against Tech last season. Who has taken up the colors for Maryland in the 2010-2011 season? Who should Tech keep an eye on from the Maryland bench?
Ben: Pretty much just Jordan Williams. Cliff Tucker helped out a little bit earlier in the year, but he's unbelievably inconsistent and hasn't really earned Gary Williams' confidence yet. Dino Gregory and Adrian Bowie have both seriously stepped up in their senior seasons, but neither have looked like legitimate #2 options with any consistency, at least not yet. In fact, that's Maryland's biggest weakness this year: if Jordan can't score, often no one can. Bowie looked great against Virginia and there's some hope that he can continue that into the future, but no one knows for sure if he will.

Tucker will likely come off the bench for Maryland, and he has the potential to get seriously hot. The other two names to know are Terrell Stoglin and Haukur Palsson. Stoglin will likely start, but he shares the point guard duties with Pe'Shon Howard. Stoglin is inconsistent and takes a lot of bad shots, but when he's on, it's Beast Mode. Palsson won't light it up, but he's probably Maryland's peskiest player. Think Tanner Smith of Clemson, plus three inches, a tattoo, and Icelandic heritage.
FTRS: What is the temperature of Gary Williams' seat?
Ben: Hardly hot, if at all. There's always going to be a pretty sizable section of the fanbase that's tough on Gary. It's just the way things are, especially when Maryland is looking NIT-bound. It's a scary aspect that fans - many of whom still rue the fact that MD never capitalized on the natty - don't like at all.

But almost no one in that group wants Gary to be fired. Everyone knows that Gary wouldn't have anything to squander if he didn't build it up from dirt himself, and he deserves a lot of respect for that. Even though he's controversial at times, he's still beloved by nearly everyone in the Maryland community. Any move on his job would approach career suicide.
FTRS: What happened with Mike Leach? We were ready for the Arrogant Asshole Bowl in 2011 (Paul Johnson vs. Mike Leach).
Ben: It depends on who you ask. Some people say that he never had a shot, that Kevin Anderson (Maryland's AD) was going with Edsall from the start. I don't necessarily buy that; he's not stupid enough to dangle that carrot, take it away, and expect no kind of repercussions. A lot of people have said that Leach's interview went very poorly, and I tend to believe those people. If that's the theory you buy, Leach actually was a front-runner until the interview process, when he became, well, an Arrogant Asshole. I have no first-hand knowledge, but this is one of the leading theories (and probably the most credible). Anyway, most people can tolerate Edsall, even if they aren't quite excited about it.
FTRS: Barring back to back last second miracle shots, who wins this game and why?
Ben: This one is doubly confusing, because I have no idea which Maryland team will show up or which GT team will show up. The Jackets seem pretty strong at home, but Maryland is slowly gelling. I'll go with Georgia Tech in a close one, mostly because I don't think Maryland can consistently stop Iman Shumpert and I don't have faith in UMD's outside shooting. I wouldn't at all be surprised to see it turn out the other way, though.
Thanks goes out to Ben Broman and Testudo Times. You'll never find a finer ACC hoops blog or hive of scum and villainy. Go Jackets! Beat the Terps!
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