During ESPN’s telecast of Maryland’s eventual 12-8 loss to Virginia last Saturday, analysts Matt Ward and Ryan Boyle mentioned Curtis Holmes’ battle with minor injuries. On Tuesday, Terps coach John Tillman confirmed that those unspecified ailments have affected the junior faceoff specialist’s play this season.
“In our opinion, it seems like it comes back to that,” Tillman said. “We’ve studied film from last year and this year, and we keep coming back to, ‘We’re probably getting everybody’s best efforts,’ whereas last year, Curtis was kind of the unknown. Now Curtis is a known and people are studying harder for him and preparing harder for him. But everything else seems to be pretty consistent. We’re not doing a whole lot different in terms of his preparation. We tried to tweak some things once it wasn’t going as well as we liked. … He’s gone against some pretty good guys. We’ve just got to have a Plan B and C, and we feel like with [freshmen] Charlie [Raffa] and Bobby [Gribbin] and hope that with maybe a little bit more rest, Curtis is fresher. It’s hard to say that it’s fatigue because he took almost every faceoff, and it didn’t hurt him last year. He’s taken less this year. So we’re looking at every aspect.”