Terps notes on the way to Spokane

March 17, 2010|By Jeff Barker | Baltimore Sun reporter

* The Terps left yesterday for Spokane, Wash. It became real when I saw Adrian Bowie wheeling his luggage to the bus at Comcast Center. Let the games begin. Actually, Maryland doesn't play until Friday night, as you know. The Terps will get some practice time out there and try to use the extra day to adjust to the different time zone.

* The team has talked a lot about how many 3-pointers Houston attempts. The Cougars sometimes play four guards at once. Ever seen that before? Oh yes, the Terps have done it on occasion as well in the past few seasons, although three guards is more typical.

* Gary Williams says Houston coach Tom Penders plays a lot of man-to-man defense with some box-and-one and triangle-and-two. On offense, Williams says the Cougars "have a lot of freedom. If they're open, they're supposed to shoot the basketball." Sounds fun, doesn't it?

* How different is it playing in Spokane from one of the other first-round options -- say New Orleans? "I heard it's not much to see out there," Landon Milbourne said. Fewer distractions, I guess, isn't a bad thing. Actually, I haven't heard bad things at all about Spokane.

* And finally, I wrote a story for today on the high cost for players' families -- and for fans -- of getting out to Spokane. Milbourne's mother (she is a Georgia hair stylist) and Dino Gregory's father (he is a Baltimore police officer) both said they can't get away from work to attend. Both also said the cost -- it was too late to get advanced purchase discount airfare -- was a factor.

I'm not sure how you fix this. But it troubles me that parents -- who want to go see their sons -- can't attend because of distance and cost, among other factors.

Bowie's father, John, also can't make the trip. But that's partly because his doctor advised him to avoid air travel with his broken ankle. There sure will be lots of anxious eyes aimed at their television sets late Friday night.

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