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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Greivis In, Walker Out

The moving and shaking is not done yet for the Terrapin men's basketball team, and it doesn't look great right now.

THE GOOD NEWS: Greivis Vasquez is coming back. Some people may groan, but he's the best returning player on the Maryland squad. Hopefully another year in college might mean another year of maturity. Now he needs some coaching (hint, hint, Gary) to stop forcing plays and turning the ball over.

THE BAD NEWS: Forward/Center Shane Walker is transferring from the school. Before the announcement, the frosh figured to earn significant minutes at least in the early part of next season until Augustus Gilchrist becomes available. He could've been a starter depending on how much Braxton Dupree weighs in the fall. This is why I'm surprised he left - perhaps there was a personal issue that made him decide to move elsewhere. I'm also disappointed: He was one of my secret favorite players, the ones I like for silly reasons. C'mon, he's British! How cool is that?

THE UGLY REALITY: Maryland now has four (4) players that can play the 4-spot and the 5-spot when the season starts next year. Gilchrist will give a great boost when he's allowed to play in December/January, but until then, think about this rotation:

Greivis Vasquez/Eric Hayes
Sean Mosley/Adrian Bowie/Tyree Evans
Landon Milbourne/Cliff Tucker
Dave Neal/Dino Gregory
Jerome Burney/Braxton Dupree

That's not a good team folks. It's crowded in the wrong places and shallow in the wrong places. We don't have a standout frontcourt player to speak of (no offense, Jerome and Braxton), and with the departure of Walker depletes the already-dangerously low depth in those positions. I honestly have no idea how we expect to rebound with any regularity, and our guards are not sharp enough shooters to run a perimeter-oriented offense like Duke did this past year with four guards in at a time.

It will be, to say the least, a challenge to make it through the first part of next year. Gilchrist is the wild card that could help make or break this squad. It's a long time from now, and people will get better from year to year, but a lot of other ACC recruiting classes will make a big impact (Duke, Wake, UNC) that Maryland's incoming class probably won't. It's very discouraging when you look at NCAA prospects for next season.

Also disturbing: The transfer leaves zero players representing the United Kingdom next year.

Photo Credits: Baltimore Sun

1 comment:

Jeff V said...

Thats the first I've heard of the Walker thing. That is so strange. he would have gotten a lot of minutes this year and he is so young. I thought he looked good in the games he played in last year. Let's hope Mosley and Gil' are as good as they've been hyped to be