Instant analysis: Who is Sam Maniscalco?

November 29, 2011|By Don Markus

College Park — When I looked at the Illinois roster in advance of Maryland's game Tuesday night, I went right past Sam Maniscalco's name.

He is listed first, because his number is 0.

He is listed generously at 6 feet and 230 pounds, though the latter seemed an exaggeration.

I am sure Mark Turgeon and his assistants scouted Maniscalco a lot better than I did, but the Maryland players didn't listen to the scouting report.

D.J. Richardson didn't beat the Terps, Mansicalco did. He finished with 24 points and drove all kinds of daggers into Maryland's defense during the second half of a 71-62  victory at Comcast Center.

For all Turgeon has to worry about this season about opposing teams being bigger and stronger and deeper and more athletic than his Terps, it almost seems unfair that Maniscalco, who is playing as a graduate student after being the captain of the Bradley Braves for the past three seasons, should be the guy who killed Maryland in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

It was interesting to watch the battle unfold between Maniscalco and Terrell Stoglin.

Though they didn't guard each other, their contrasting styles of scoring points was fascinating. Maniscalco is old-school, a three-point shooter who does a lot of little things - like hitting free throws and getting free for deadly three-point shots and even getting fouled on one three by Sean Mosely. Stoglin, to his credit, played as under control as he has all season and finished with a game-high 25, but had to use a lot more energy before, like his teammates, running out of gas down the stretch.

I think the Terps could have beaten Illinois if they had figured Maninscalco out, but in the end, they couldn't and didn't.

I'll have more after Turgeon's press conference. 

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