Williams: UM offense isn't too far off mark

Flaws on offensive end not a concern for coach

College Basketball

January 03, 2002|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Maryland Terrapins coach Gary Williams didn't take offense at his team's offense.

Despite committing 15 or more turnovers in seven games and narrowly outlasting unranked North Carolina State on Sunday, Williams said he wasn't too concerned about his eighth-ranked team's troubles on the offensive end of the court.

"We did a lot of things right [against North Carolina State]," Williams said. "They shot 28 [actually 30] percent from the field, we shot 40 [actually 41]. So we shot 12 [actually 11] percent better than they did on their home court."

A lot of things went Maryland's way, including a 35-for-49 night at the free-throw line and timely scores from guards Juan Dixon and Steve Blake, who combined to score the Terps' final 21 points.

But Maryland (10-2, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) also was guilty of showing a few flaws, including converting just six field goals in the second half and committing 19 turnovers overall - two shy of tying its season worst, set in the loss to Oklahoma two weeks ago.

Dixon personified the unusual statistical numbers. Although the senior from Calvert Hall led the Terps with 21 points in the win over North Carolina State, he also turned the ball over nine times and failed to record an assist.

Williams said he believed that Dixon's poor turnovers-to-assists ratio was an aberration and noted that Dixon's game would entail some turnovers.

"He's going to turn it over some because he plays aggressively and he tries things," Williams said. "But you don't want to take away from his style of play. There were some turnovers that weren't necessary. ... But Juan will be ready to go [tonight]."

Williams said that forward Chris Wilcox would get his third start of the year tonight vs. Norfolk State (3-9) at Cole Field House. Williams, who second-guessed himself about starting Wilcox in his home state against North Carolina State, said he was pleased with Wilcox's energy at the beginning of the game.

"I thought that he did a pretty good job getting 12 rebounds in that game," Williams said. "He got us off to a good start."

Williams declined to cement Wilcox's status for the remainder of the season, adding that he was comfortable with mixing Wilcox's starts with forward Tahj Holden's.

"Let's see what's best for the team," Williams said. "What I like is that it's two different players. Both play the same position, but Tahj plays a different game than Chris does. That's always good to have that change come off the bench."

Norfolk State represents the final hurdle for the continuation of a Maryland trend.

If the Terps defeat the Spartans tonight in a game broadcasted on Comcast at 8, Maryland will have extended its national-leading nonconference home-court win streak to 84 contests.

The Terps last lost a non-conference game at Cole Field House on Dec. 12, 1989 against Coppin State.

Several Terrapin players either passed or are drawing closer to school milestones.

Center Lonny Baxter is four points shy of his 1,500th career point. Baxter, who is 14th on the Terps' all-time scoring list, is also three blocks away from tying Larry Gibson for fifth place on the career blocks list with 182.

Dixon vaulted over Johnny Rhodes and Terence Morris to seventh place on the career points list. Dixon, who has 1,751 points, is only 26 points away from moving past Keith Booth, who is in sixth place.

And Blake tied Terrell Stokes for ninth place on the career three-point field-goals list with 89. Blake, a junior, is also 17 steals shy of skipping past Morris for eight place on the career steals list. Morris finished his four-year career with 162 steals.

Terps tonight

Opponent: Norfolk State

Site: Cole Field House, College Park

Time: 8

TV/Radio: Comcast SportsNet/WBAL (1090 AM)

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.