Posts Tagged 'College Basketball'

A Look Back: Eric Hayes

Now we take a look back at the career of…a 6’4″ guard…from Woodbridge, Virginia…#5…Eric Hayes!!

Hayes got a very good amount of playing time as a freshman, averaging just under 23½ per game. He seemed to fit into Gary Williams system quite well, rarely turning the ball over and running solid offense.

He was almost automatic from the foul line…finishing his career as the Terrapins all-time leader in free throw percentage at 86.9%. In his four years he never missed more than 10 free throw attempts in any season.

Hayes was just as dangerous from beyond the arc. His career three-point shooting percentage was a very respectable 40%. And his 196 three pointers ranks him fourth in school history.

In dishing out 513 career assists, he ranks sixth on Maryland’s all-time list.

I will always remember Hayes’ quiet demeanor and that same expression on his face all the time, no matter what the score or situation.

What a tremendous playmaker…Thank you Eric Hayes!!!!!!!!

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3/3/10: DUKE – MD Game Preview

Hello all. Wow it has been a while since I last posted! But thanks to a certain friend of mine your boy is BACK to preview Maryland’s most important regular season game in quite some time.

Let’s start with the facts. The fourth ranked Duke Blue Devils come to College Park this evening playing some excellent basketball. Their last defeat was to Georgetown at the end of January. Since that loss they have rattled off eight straight wins by an average margin of 13½ points.

The 22nd ranked Maryland Terrapins last loss was at the hands of Duke when they got clobbered by 21 on February 13 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. However things have changed for the Terps since that beatdown. They have won five straight, and have come from behind in four of those wins.

And so these two rivals meet again, but this time the stakes are a bit higher. Maryland is one game behind Duke in the ACC standings. Conventional wisdom would say “Look, Duke won 67-49 last time these two played each other, no chance the Terps win tonight.” That argument works if we are simulating this game on Accuscore with computer simulations. But we are certainly NOT.

Tonight is senior night for Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, and Landon Milbourne. Emotions will be running high. The students at Maryland just loathe everything about Duke, you know they will be loud and crazy tonight.

But let’s step away from the emotion and environment of the game and look at the keys to victory for both the Devils and the Terps.

DUKE: KEY #1: Get off to a fast start. They are such a hard team to beat once they get a substantial lead on you. In the last meeting between these teams Duke had a 25-6 run in the first half and built up a lead they didn’t even come close to relinquishing.

KEY#2: The big 3 has to produce. Jon Scheyer (18.8 ppg), Nolan Smith (17.4 ppg), and Kyle Singler (17.1 ppg) do the bulk of the scoring for this team. Even if one of them has an off night, usually the other two are capable of playing well enough to pick up his slack. Also Duke’s defense acts a cushion in case the baskets aren’t coming for this trio. But if Maryland can force others such as Lance Thomas, the Plumlee brothers, and Brian Zoubek to take the big shots down the stretch, that will be big.

KEY#3: Take advantage of the middle. In the game on Feb. 13th, Zoubek had a career day scoring 16 points and grabbing 17 boards. The senior took advantage of Terps freshman Jordan Williams. I don’t know if it was the nerves of playing at Cameron for the first time, but until Williams proves he can hold his own against Duke’s big men, it would be wise for the Devils to go after him early and often.

MARYLAND: KEY #1: The Venezuelan Sensation. What a year it has been for Greivis Vasquez. He is second in the ACC in scoring (19½ ppg) and leads the conference in assists per game (6.4). He has been the unquestioned leader of this squad. He is shooting a career best 38% from beyond the arc and is quietly becoming on of the best players in school and conference history. However after beating Duke on the road in his freshman year, he has lost six straight to the Devils, including last year’s ACC tournament semi-final game. Whether it be smart distribution of the rock or putting the team on his back, Vasquez needs to bring his A-game tonight.

KEY #2: Who else will step up? In Maryland’s five game win streak, different players other than Vasquez have played crucial roles. On Feb 20th, Cliff Tucker hit an amazing buzzer beater to shock Georgia Tech. Eric Hayes and Sean Mosely were cool and confident in the closing moments of last Saturday’s instant classic at Virginia Tech, nailing their free throws in the second overtime. Freshman Jordan Williams was fantastic, scoring 19 and securing 11 rebounds at N.C. State. I am looking for Landon Milbourne to step up this evening in his final home game. He had a very good start to conference play but has put up average numbers in the past six games.

KEY #3: Take care of the ball. Maryland was able to come from behind and beat the Hokies last Saturday because they only turned the ball over twice in the 2nd half. The Terps gave themselves scoring chances nearly every time they had the ball. Vasquez had only two turnovers playing 48 of the 50 minutes. Eric Hayes had 10 assists and two turnovers in 40 minutes. Duke has been and always will be a good defensive team that feasts on turnovers. It will be interesting to see how many points off of turnovers the Devils accumulate and whether or not it will be the difference between a win or a loss.

Closing thoughts: Tonight’s game should be a classic. Enjoy the best that the ACC has to offer. Expect both teams to leave it all out there for this one. Although this is not a do or die game (both teams already have byes in the ACC Tourny and are secured sports in the Big Dance), it is a rivalry, and the top spot in the conference is on the line. Should be fun. And because I’m a homer through and through, and can’t go against my boys. Two straight Duke wins at Comcast is enough…MD 71-DUKE 67

6 OT’s…WOW

Mar. 13, 2009, 1:38 AM

I really cannot say I have ever witnessed a basketball game quite like the one that occurred tonight at the Big East Tournament in New York. Connecticut and Syracuse battled into the early hours of Friday morning, playing six…yes six overtimes.

‘Cuse never led at any point of the first five overtimes. It was tied at 110 apiece after 5 OT’s. In the sixth, The Orange were able to outscore the Huskies 17-7 and win the game 127-117.

The game had everything. It just seemed like every overtime was destined to have the teams tied when the clock it triple zeros. What a game for two hall of fame coaches, Jim Calhoun and Jim Boeheim.

As for the Big East Tournament, Syracuse advances to the Semi-Finals and will play West Virginia Friday night. West Virginia has to have the early edge considering how tired the Syracuse players must be.

I will blog more on the impact of this game later today.

Terps secure first round win over N.C. State

Mar. 12, 2009, 9:59 PM

All season the Maryland Terrapins have played their best basketball when their backs have been up against the wall. Tonight’s opening round game against N.C. State in the ACC Tournament was no different.

Eric Hayes led the Terps in scoring with a career high 21 points, thanks to his five 3-pointers. Greivis Vasquez played unselfish basketball, dishing out ten assists while scoring 17 points and only turning the ball over two times.

The Wolfpack got out to a nice lead early in the game, leading by 13 at one point in the first half. But Hayes was able to knock down three 3-pointers to cut into the lead. The two teams were tied at halftime.

In the 2nd half, there were numerous ties and lead changes. This back and forth battle continued until freshman Sean Mosely made a lay-up with 3:52 remaining to give the Terps a 63-62 lead. They never looked back. That basket was the beginning of an 11-0 Maryland run in which the Wolfpack were unable to score for over three minutes.

With the victory Maryland moves on the the ACC Quarterfinals where they will face the number two seeded Wake Forest Demon Deacons Friday evening. The game can be seen on RAYCOM Sports in ACC Markets and ESPN2 nationally.

2/17/09: Maryland-Clemson Halftime Update

Feb. 17, 2009, 8:35 PM

-Hello everyone. It is halftime of the Maryland-Clemson game right now, with the Tigers up 34-28 on the Terps. I have a few thoughts on what happened in the first half

-Clemson’s press looked very good, it was giving the Terps quite a bit of trouble. Even when they were able to advance the ball past half-court, Clemson was playing tough man to man defense. They were able to steal the ball with under 10 seconds to play in the first half and get an easy layup.

-Dave Neal is working his tail off and is doing a solid job against Trevor Booker. He leads Maryland with 7 points. It would be huge to have him keep this intensity up for the entire game.

-Landon Milbourne is great at finishing, so it is very frustrating to see him miss 15 footers over and over again, especially when the Terps have numbers.

-Terrance Oglesby killed Maryland last year with his sharp-shooting from beyond the arc. He has been held in check for the most part this evening, scoring only one 3-pointer. If he is not contained in the 2nd half it could mean a loss for Maryland.

Looking forward to tonight’s Carolina-Maryland game

Feb. 3, 2009, 4:08 PM

There has been lots going on in College Park lately. The basketball team has been losing games in the worst possible ways, and Gary Williams and Debbie Yow are back to letting the public know how much “love” they have for each other.

As a fan of the team I am trying to pretend the war of words between Yow and Williams never happened, pretend the embarrassing loss to Duke never happened, and see how this team handles in my opinion the best team in the country tonight on the road in Chapel Hill.

I am not expecting the Terps to win, I don’t think anyone outside of Gary and his kids thinks they can win tonight. But I want to see the kind of basketball I know this team is capable of producing when they play smart and play tough. A ten point loss would be fine by me tonight…as long as it isn’t a ten point loss after being up by ten at some other point in the game.

The team should have some a new sense of confidence after a much needed win this past Saturday against Miami. Hey, they beat UNC in the Dean Dome last year, wouldn’t be something if they can find a way to do it again.

Maryland-Duke, Where have you gone?

Jan 23, 2009, 4:59 PM

I was looking at the start time for tomorrow afternoon’s Maryland-Duke game and noticed that it was scheduled for a noon tipoff. It got me thinking about how this “rivalry” has really dropped off a bit in the last few years. I say rivalry in quotes due to the fact that Duke doesn’t really dislike Maryland the way they hate Carolina.

Anyways I can remember back in the early part of this decade when seemed as if every Terps-Blue Devils game had that “big game” feel and would be the ESPN Wednesday or Saturday night game of the week. The games are still intense, don’t get me wrong, but it just seems that the games in the past few years have failed to live up to the ones that took place in 2000, ’01, ’02, ’03 and the ’04 ACC Championship Game…all of which were classics.

One of the reasons the rivalry has dipped has to be the fact that Maryland hasn’t held their end of the bargain. Duke is always high in the rankings. Maryland however didn’t receive a single vote in the latest AP and Coaches Polls. The games have added importance and the stakes are higher when you had two top 20, or top 10 teams battling it out. It doesn’t seem as special anymore when Duke is the easy favorite.

That being said, if and when the Terps do pull off the upset against Duke, it will be a bit more satisfying. But personally as a fan of the team I’d rather have Maryland have a high ranking each year, lose to Duke, and go deep in the NCAA Tourny. Rather than be unranked, occasionally upset a Duke or Carolina, lose to teams like Ohio, American, and Morgan State…AT HOME, and not make the Tourny at all. That last part is what the past few seasons have felt like being a Maryland fan. They play up to the Duke’s of the world but can’t win a BB&T Classic in their own backyard.

So enough of that. Tomorrow at Cameron Indoor Stadium, number two ranked Duke will host Maryland on ESPN. It should be a competitive game and as you can tell by my rant, I would love for it to be a classic.


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