Terps men aren't looking past William & Mary

Tribe shoots 27 3-pointers per game, beat Wake, VCU

December 30, 2009|By Jeff Barker | jeff.barker@baltsun.com

COLLEGE PARK — — Maryland forward Jordan Williams can recite William & Mary's shooting statistics from memory - specifically how the Tribe attempts 27 3-pointers per game. If the Terrapins seem to be paying particular attention to tonight's opponent, it's because they have to. The Terps (8-3) don't have the luxury of an eye-catching, nonconference win to boost their credentials for the NCAA tournament committee.

Last season at this time, Maryland had victories over Michigan State and Michigan. Absent such a win this season, the Terps know how much it could cost them to drop a game to a mid-major team, even a potent one such as William & Mary of the Colonial Athletic Association.

William & Mary (8-2) has wins over Wake Forest and Virginia Commonwealth, a nine-point loss at Connecticut, and received five votes in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll.

The Tribe is "a very good basketball team," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "It's not one of those games where you hope your players are ready to play. They certainly have our attention after what they did to Wake Forest. They've really played well all year."

William & Mary won, 78-68, at Wake Forest on Nov. 28 by out-shooting the Demon Deacons from the field and converting 27 of 35 free throws.

"It's going to be a great test for us coming up to the ACC" season, Maryland guard Greivis Vasquez said. "Our main thing defensively is, we've got to rebound. If they get second chances, that's when they're going to get us by making 3s."

The Tribe highlights 3-pointers and has made 41 percent of its 271 attempts through 10 games.

Three-point defense has cost the Terps this season. Maryland is surrendering an average of eight per game, while averaging 5.8. Villanova attempted a school-record 39 3s against the Terps, making 16 in beating Maryland, 95-86, on Dec. 6. Eastern Kentucky made 11 3s against the Terps one game later. Florida Atlantic made eight in Maryland's 72-59 victory Sunday.

Gary Williams said rebounding and 3-point defense are linked. "The hardest 3-pointer to guard is off an offensive rebound because everybody is going toward the glass," he said. "Florida Atlantic had three 3s after an offensive rebound. We're working on it. I think we'll have the capability of being a good rebounding team."

Notes: Guard Sean Mosley (ankle sprain) will likely return for the William & Mary game after missing the Florida Atlantic win. "Sean practiced yesterday and looked OK," Williams said. "He should be fine for tomorrow's game." Mosley is averaging 14.3 points and 5.2 rebounds and is a rugged defender. ... As he did Sunday, freshman forward Jordan Williams is likely to start over junior Dino Gregory. The two will basically split time, and the coach said Gregory could regain his starting job as the season unfolds.

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