At A Glance

College Basketball 2006

Maryland Men

November 03, 2006|By HEATHER A. DINICH

Coach -- Gary Williams, 18th season at Maryland (353-191), 29th overall (560-319)

Affiliation -- Atlantic Coast Conference

2005-06 -- 19-13, 8-8 in ACC (sixth place); lost to Boston College, 80-66, in quarterfinals of ACC tournament; lost to Manhattan, 87-84, in first round of National Invitation Tournament.

Radio -- WHFS (105.7 FM), WJFK (1300 AM)

Arena -- Comcast Center (17,950)

Consensus ACC favorite -- North Carolina

Consensus Maryland pick -- Seventh

Starters lost -- One

Starting lineup candidates -- G-F D.J. Strawberry; G Eric Hayes; F James Gist; G Greivis Vasquez; G Mike Jones; F Ekene Ibekwe

Backcourt -- Don't be surprised to see a four-guard lineup this season, as Hayes and Vasquez bring depth and talent to the position, and could easily be inserted into a lineup with Jones and Strawberry. Williams has even talked about using two point guards at the same time. The key for this group will be limiting the turnovers - and freshman mistakes.

Frontcourt -- It will be up to Ibekwe and Gist to lead the Terps' front line, and they are likely to get the bulk of minutes, but junior college transfer Bambale Osby and Will Bowers could help beef it up from the bench. At 7 feet 1, Bowers is one of the tallest returning players in the conference, but lacks the athleticism to really challenge for significant minutes. At 6-8 and 250, Osby is an imposing player plays with his back to the basket.

Outlook -- The conference is a blend of highly touted freshmen and veterans, with the usual suspects - and Boston College - expected to lead the bunch. Maryland might exceed some expectations with a 9-7 record. Regardless, there appears to be enough talent on the roster to end the program's string of back-to-back appearances in the National Invitation Tournament.

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