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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Shame, Shame

I think I'm a reasonable person. I don' t think I praise or condemn rashly. So trust me: I have sufficient reason to be ashamed of the men's basketball team today.

In case you haven't heard, the Terps lost 61-55 last night to the Ohio University Bobcats.

See, some of you may think that I meant to say Ohio State, but no, I didn't. I'm talking about THE Ohio University, one of the more competitive teams in the MAC conference. They went 19-13 last year. They've already lost to Holy Cross, one of our future opponents.

That should give you a little perspective on how bad this loss really is.

A lot of Maryland students were studying for finals, but I attended the game and watched it in its entirety. It was awful. I can't remember seeing so many dropped passes, mishandled rebounds and bounce-out shots. It was a horrible game ... and it wasn't even close. Ohio, at its greatest margin, led by 17 points.

First of all, what a poorly scheduled game! The athletics department actually thought it was a good idea to schedule a late game on the day before finals began? Way to go: The players had finals on their minds and the students scanned and left. And guess what? I can't blame them.

However, that was no excuse for the crummy game I watched last night. Maryland was outrebounded by 10 and allowed opposing player, Leon Williams, to grab 15 boards. Yikes.

But Maryland's biggest problem is we can't shoot. That's a problem that's hard to fix. Ohio crowded the middle and left some room for outside shots, and Maryland only hit 7 out of 23 attempts from 3-point range. Yes, you read that correctly. We took 23 shots from beyond the arc.

I'm not going to call out individual players because:

a) You guys can check out the stats for yourself

b) Everyone made some bad mistakes

c) All of them are at this point sufficiently humiliated

I did hear crowd members booing the Maryland players and heckling them at the end of the game and I didn't really think that was necessary. The way I see it, if you want to act like you're a loyal fan, you have to sit through the bad times. It's hard to watch, especially when the Terps lose like that, but you can't talk trash about the players one game and act like their the greatest thing that ever happened the next. Plus, as I mentioned before, the players are their own harshest critics. Why pile on?

It's a bad spot to be in. The rest of the conference is already moving ahead and the Terps are getting left behind. Realistically, they must win most of their conference games to get out of this hole. I don't want to look too far ahead, but it's sad to see that the NCAA tournament hopes are already fading away.

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