Let's not kid ourselves

FACEOFF

Faceoff

December 26, 2008|By Don Markus

I hate playing the hoops grinch, Bill, but Maryland's 8-2 start will mean very little once the Terps hit the ACC. If you look closely, those Christmas stockings, like the team's frontcourt, have some pretty large holes to patch.

Although the early-season start is a lot better than last year's, when the Terps lost six games before Christmas and home defeats by American and Ohio helped drop their RPI into triple digits, reality will set in once the ACC season begins.

Sure, Maryland has built a bit of a swagger with its victories over Michigan and Michigan State, but last I checked, the Terps are still playing in the ACC and not the Big Ten.

Maryland is the only ACC team that has yet to play on another team's home court, and it won't do so until mid-January.

This recent stretch of home games that began a couple of weeks ago against Delaware State, continued with Monday night's exorcism against AU and includes the likes of (Not Kobe) Bryant tomorrow and Elon won't exactly get Maryland battle-tested.

After Maryland beat Delaware State two weeks ago, Gary Williams did his best to pump up Landon Milbourne, who had a career-high 23-point performance. I kept thinking about the fact that Braxton Dupree had one rebound and went scoreless in 11 minutes against a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team and that Steve Goins didn't even get off the bench.

The frontcourt might be the worst in modern school history. As well as Dave Neal has played, and as promising as Dino Gregory has looked, the lack of a legitimate big man will ultimately be Maryland's demise in the ACC.

But let's not think about that yet. Santa Claus, I mean Bryant, is coming to town.

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