For you Maryland fans out there, I think we've had enough rough games to reinforce that we're dealing with a young Terrapins team this year. The minutes are being juggled, and depending on which game you might have gone to, you may have seen different things from them, or you may not have seen some of them play at all.
So INRCP is gracing all of you who can't make every game with a freshman review, a breakdown of how each guy is doing. So far, the only guy without any stats is frosh walk-on David Pearman. Jerome Burney is included in this edition.
CLIFF TUCKER, SG/SF, NO. 24
Tucker is arguably the most successful freshman so far on the Terps team. He is athletic and speedy. He can create his own shots, but can also slash. He has been so impressive at times that I said that he would replace Landon Milbourne in the starting lineup. Sure enough, against Delaware, he made his first career start at the 3-spot. However, Milbourne has stepped up his game lately so I'm not sure how long that will last.
Tucker has averaged almost 15 minutes per contest and a little over 4 points per game. He has shown he knows when to shoot, earning a 55.3 FG% and a blistering 63.6 FG% from beyond the arc. Niiiiiiice. However, this brilliance does indeed come in flashes. In the Illinois game, he scored 9 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in only 12 minutes. However, he played 20 minutes against Delaware and only managed 2 points and a single rebound. If he wants to see more time and at least equal Milbourne in minutes, he has to be more consistent. But the ability is there.
BRAXTON DUPREE, C, NO. 4
Dupree is yet another player that is scooping up significant minutes with mixed results. He's averaging about 13 minutes per game and 4 points and 3 rebounds. Not exactly eye-popping. Yet against Lehigh, he went for 14 and 5, pretty OK numbers for starter's minutes in place of Bambale Osby. It's games like against Ohio (2 pts and a big fat goose egg in rebounds; only 7 minutes) that make me worry about his development.
Dupree is a big boy - he weighs 260 lbs. He is more agile than you would think and spins quickly in the post. His hands are pretty soft and he can make shots. However, his weight and average height (6'8) make it nearly impossible for him to play above the rim very much. This means he loses some rebounds and often gets blocked by other players with superior athletic ability or height advantage. Definitely needs to lose some pounds if he wants to compete with the big boys and secure a spot in the roster after Augustus Gilchrist can finally play.
ADRIAN BOWIE, PG/SG, NO. 22
Bowie is an interesting player, and I often wonder what Gary Williams has planned for him. He gets some good minutes and averages about 3 ppg and not much else. He's short (6'2) and I don't see much upside in his game, other than if he developed some speed and a more reliable shot.
The interesting part is that Gary has put him at the point guard position for limited minutes when taking out Eric Hayes. Yes, Greivis Vasquez still runs most of the plays in that scenario, but Bowie definitely has seen some looks. My best guess is that Gary doesn't want a situation after Hayes and Vasquez graduate or leave early like two years ago when we had no true point guards. Bowie averaged 6 apg in his senior season, but so far it hasn't worked out for him (1o assists compared to 16 turnovers). But we'll see. Maybe Gary knows something about Bowie that we don't.
JEROME BURNEY, PF, NO. 32
Burney is a player that strikes me as having vast potential. I've seen him make more than a few athletic plays and he's big, which is something we need. He's only played in 8 games, which is surprising to me. I think he should be getting more minutes.
In my mind, Burney is the heir-apparent to the James Gist role: The long, athletic forward that can block and grab the boards. Dupree isn't going to get that kind of air, Dino Gregory isn't that long, and Shane Walker is all bones. Burney has a good blend of size and ability that will translate well into the ACC. His offensive game needs work (see 5-for-11 in FGs). But ya gotta play him first!
EXTRA FUN FACT: Burney averaged 10 BLOCKS PER GAME as a senior in high school. Also, check out this slam. If you were there, you know how awesome that was.
DINO GREGORY, SF/PF, NO. 33
This guy is definitely an up-and-coming fan favorite. When I watch him, the only word I can think of is "hustle." I mean, the guy looks like a gigantic schoolboy, his arms are relatively short, he's not as athletic or tall as most of the guys he guards, and his offensive game is raw. BUUUUUT, he isn't lazy on D or rebounding and his name is "Dino." That definitely counts for something.
I'm not sure what he'll be doing in the future - perhaps switching in and out of the 4 spot and maybe the 3 spot if we play big. Lots to improve, but he sure is lovable. This guy will be a great spark off the bench in the future, maybe similar to the role Boom has excelled in this year. You can really tell he relishes every opportunity he gets on the court.
SHANE WALKER, PF, NO. 2
Walker has played in a mere 5 games so far this season, but he got some significant time in the Delaware contest, and not really garbage time; he was James Gist's main backup. I know Gary is trying to see more of these guys, but every time I see a player on the court that doesn't go out that often, I assume that they must be doing something in practice.
What I saw in the game was not very good at first. He didn't make his only shot attempt, he gave up a sloppy turnover, and he was roughed up in the post a bit. He did grab 3 boards, and later in the game, he was playing with more energy. Physically, he has the length that you want, but his frame needs muscle to even get to an Ekene Ibekwe type of build. Yikes. But he didn't give up, even when he got pulled after a particularly bad giveaway. There's something to be said about that.
By the way, did you know he's from England? Weird.
Anyway, thanks for staying awake and reading. Stop by again sometime.
Photo Credits: The Baltimore Sun, AP, Washington Post