Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Still Crazy Perfect

On a night when most ACC teams succumbed to their Big Ten counterparts in the 5th edition of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, at least Maryland and Georgia Tech did their parts, defeating Michigan and Nebraska, respectively.

With these important wins, both the Terps and the Yellow Jackets maintained their perfect records in the Challenge. Five years, five wins. Plus, in doing so, they saw to it that there are no longer any undefeated teams in the Big Ten. Not Michigan, which had won each of its four prior Challenge games, and not Big Ten newbie, Nebraska, which was welcomed to its first Challenge tonight with a Big L, courtesy of GT.

To Michigan's credit, it wasn't an easy W for the Terps. For about the first 35 minutes, the Wolverines shot the lights out from beyond the arc, an offensive performance that saw the game tied at the half, and tied or nearly so for 15 minutes after that. The Terps struggled with their inside game, but fortunately, Alyssa Thomas had a big scoring night, putting up 19 points in the first half, and 24 overall, including her first 3-pointer! (Alyssa had to leave the game for about three minutes late in the second half, when she suddenly went down with what appeared to be a very painful leg cramp. Luckily, she was able to return.) Is it just us, or has anybody else noticed that Alyssa's best games are the big games? We love that about her. She led her team against Georgetown and led her team tonight. Against the cupcakes other opponents, not quite as much.

Lynetta Kizer, still coming off the bench, was a huge factor in turning the tide in the Terps' favor late in the game. She hounded Michigan on the defensive end, and helped Maryland get some much needed stops.

Tianna Hawkins played 37 minutes and made every one of them count! T-Hawk scored 10 points and added a game-high 16 boards. These double-doubles are becoming a habit for Maryland's (mostly unheralded) junior post player. Without T-Hawk's steady, determined presence, Maryland would never have been able to dominate the Wolverines on the boards the way they did (47-24).

Laurin Mincy (11 points) also finished in double figures tonight. And Anjale Barrett continued to dish out generous post-Thanksgiving servings to her teammates, notching 8 assists.

The BCs also want to give the Maryland crowd a shout-out tonight. With about five minutes left in the game, and the two teams in a virtual dead-heat, the 4,000 or so Terps fans in the house raised the decibel level markedly . . . and sustained the noise practically to the final buzzer. The Wolverines, at times, seemed visibly rattled by the noise. Their shots stopped falling. The Terps racheted up the defensive pressure and went on a run . . . finally putting the game away, 74-65.

The BCs are completely hoarse. Late in the game, we looked over and noticed that the gentleman next to us was wearing earplugs. Now we're not sure that was related to our screaming, but we wouldn't bet against it either. Our section gets pretty loud and "involved!"

So, a good night for the Terps. But a not-so-good night for the ACC. The Tarheels got embarrassed in (not-so) Happy Valley, where they lost to Penn State, 103-84. Florida State lost an OT heartbreaker (on the road) to #18 ranked Ohio State, 78-75. Meanwhile, Boston College, NC State and Virginia Tech also fell to their Big Ten opponents.

At the end of Day 1, with the Big Ten holding a 5-2 edge, we hate to admit it, but tomorrow the BCs will be rooting for duke, as well as Miami, Wake Forest, UVA and Clemson. To win outright, the ACC needs to sweep all five Day 2 games. A tall task, but not impossible.

Congratulations Terps . . . and Ga Tech!

Go ACC . . . Get out your brooms tomorrow, we need a sweep!

UM v. UM! ACC v. Big Ten!

Both undefeated in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge!

Both with perfect 7-0 records this season!

7 PM at Comcast!

No excuses . . . BE THERE!

Go Terps . . . Beat the Wolverines!

Go ACC . . . Beat the Big Ten!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Must See TV

The BCs have noticed that our basketball posts of late have received very few comments. That could mean one of two things: (a) our readers think we said everything there is to say about a particular subject (we're flattered), and they have nothing to add, or (b) our readers are getting bored with our writing and our blogging.

If (b) is the correct answer, then that's worrisome. Perhaps it's time we tried something new or different. You know, rebrand ourselves . . . branch out a little. But what could we possibly write about? Let's see . . . we love basketball, travel, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Wait, forget that, we took a wrong turn there. Hmmm, besides basketball and travel, we also enjoy watching television (selectively, of course.) That gave us an idea . . . we'd try our hand at becoming TV reviewers!

And we found the perfect show for our new careers as TV reviewers: Comcast SportsNet's "Under the Shell." The season premiere of this "reality show" aired this morning (Sunday) at 9 AM on our cable network. If you missed it, and our review piques your interest, (not to worry) CSN is rebroadcasting this first episode. So check your local listings for a rebroadcast, or watch the episode online, because (in the opinion of these two reviewers) you really missed a great show.

In case you're not familiar with this reality series, Under the Shell is in its seventh season. It provides an all-access behind-the-scenes and on-the-court look at the Maryland women's basketball team and the myriad cast of "characters" who are associated (officially and unofficially) with the Maryland program. The BCs have been fans of the program since it was first launched seven years ago. Back then, the show was produced by an experienced sports videographer, Mark Thomas. (Later he took a leave of absence from producing to concentrate on doing laundry.)

Since those early shows, the production has, at times, been somewhat uneven. Some years it's been really great; other seasons, enjoyable, but not really special. However, if this morning's episode is indicative of what we can expect for the rest of the series, then this season looks like it could be an exceptional one.

The producers, recognizing that the Terps have only played one game of note to date, wisely gave that game (MD v. Georgetown) its due, and then moved on to what might be called "human interest" stories. There are a good many humans associated with the Maryland Women's Basketball program. On the court and off, they are a pretty interesting bunch of people. So focusing on them makes for very entertaining and informative TV.

This week, we were treated to a fascinating glimpse of Trainer Matt Charvat's medical mission in Sierra Leone, as well as an amusing look at Ass't Coach David Adkins's efforts to milk his torn achilles tendon for all its worth when it comes to getting waited on hand and foot (so to speak) at home. The fun begins when Coach Adkins's wife sees a slightly different side of him at the Comcast Center.

Even the commercials were fun. Yes, Coach B is once again hyping a certain car dealership up in Maryland. (If we print the name, can we get a good deal on our next car?)

We'll stop there, because we don't want to fall into the trap of so many reviewers . . . simply reporting first this happened, then that happened, blah blah blah. No, we would rather you know we loved the show, without knowing every detail.

We want you to watch it yourself! And then catch Under the Shell when it airs bi-weekly through the end of the season. Ready Set Go Set your DVRs now!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cruisin', Part II

This afternoon, playing their second game in as many days, the Terps broke the 100-point-mark for the first time this season (in fact, with 4:16 left in the game), and then added a little more, defeating CSU Bakersfield, 114-83, to finish up their Thanksgiving holiday in Miami undefeated.

The Terps began today's game by racing out to an early 14-point lead (23-9) over the Road Runners. But as they did yesterday against FIU, Maryland then seemed to shift into cruise control and allowed most of their early lead to dissipate. Midway through the first half, the Terps' lead was only 34-33. But then, like yesterday, Maryland regained its focus and was comfortably ahead, 53-41, by halftime. After the break, as the saying goes, the Terps never looked back.

Maryland's triple-digit output was largely the work of six Terps who finished in double figures today. They were led by Laurin Mincy, who scored a game-high 23 points and was deadly from beyond the arc, nailing 5 of 7 treys. (Laurin scored 16 of her points in the first half!) She was followed by Tianna Hawkins (who had yet another double-double, with 19 points and 10 boards), Super Frosh Brene Moseley (17 points, including 3 of 5 three-pointers), Lynetta Kizer (15 points), Alyssa Thomas (14), and Alicia DeVaughn (11).

And all those double-digit scorers got plenty of help from Anjale Barrett. Despite playing only five minutes in the first half due to early foul trouble, Bronx managed to follow up yesterday's 10-assist performance with a staggering 11 assists today (and zero turnovers). Incredible!

The Road Runners are known as a run and gun type of team. They score a lot of points, but also give up a lot of points. Before today's meeting with the Terps, they averaged 87 points per game and allowed their opponents an average of 84. Maryland's 114-point explosion (with a 31-point margin of victory) obviously blew those averages away today.

So the Terps' Thankgiving holiday was a complete success . . . a beach vacation, a holiday meal, and two Ws.

The Terps' next game -- against the University of Michigan on Wednesday at Comcast at 7 PM -- should be no holiday. It's a big one -- the annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge game -- and the 5th year of the Challenge. Both the Terps and Michigan enter this year's Challenge undefeated in the inter-conference competition. (The ACC's Georgia Tech is the only other undefeated team in either conference.) Of course, after Wednesday's game, only one of these two teams (MD or UM) will be able to make that claim. So this one is not only important for Maryland's season, it's also important for the inter-conference bragging rights. It's B-I-G! Be there!

Go Terps . . . Beat the Wolverines!

* * * * *
Program Note: The seventh season of Under the Shell premieres tomorrow morning (Sunday) on Comcast SportsNet at 9 AM. Can't wait to see Episode 1!

Friday, November 25, 2011


One of Miami's claims to fame is that it's home to a primo cruise port. Cruise ships heading to the the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Bermuda, the Panama Canal and other more exotic destinations -- including across the Atlantic Ocean -- find a home in the Miami area.

So this evening, after the Terps had raced off to a 10-1 lead against holiday tournament host Florida International, apparently they decided to enjoy the weather, the party atmosphere . . . and cruise a little bit themselves. Bad idea. Before you know it, the score was tied 17-17 (about half-way through the first period).

Since the BCs weren't there and we were only following "the action" via live stats, we don't know for sure, but we suspect that didn't make Coach B happy. In fact, we suspect it made her somewhat unhappy. And perhaps Coach B and her staff reminded the players that they weren't in south Florida to cruise . . . but to play Maryland basketball.

In any event, whatever was said, it worked. The game didn't stay tied for long. About 5 minutes later, the Terps were leading the Golden Panthers by 13 points. The margin was 14 at the half (in Maryland's favor, of course), and when the final buzzer sounded, the Terps had cruised to their 6th win of the season, 84-52.

Although she didn't start today's game, Lynetta Kizer played the most minutes of any Maryland player, 28. Netta also tied with Laurin Mincy for team-high scoring honors, each finishing with 15 points. But possibly the most impressive stat-line of of the night belonged to Anjale Barrett, who dished out 5 assists in the first half . . . and then another 5 in the final period. 10 assists! In only 23 minutes. Wow. Obviously, the injury that forced Anj to make an early exit from the St. Joe's game didn't hamper her performance today. That's really good news.

Other Terps finishing in double figures: Tianna Hawkins had 13 points (all in the first half) and a game-high 9 rebounds, while Alyssa Thomas was close behind (in scoring) with 12. Brene Moseley came close to double figures, with 8 points.

No day at the beach for the Maryland team tomorrow, as they tip-off against CSU Bakersfield at 2 PM.

Go Terps . . . Beat the Road Runners!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Hardcore Maryland Fans who braved the miserable rush-hour traffic in the rain tonight to see the Terps take on St. Joseph's at Comcast were treated to Maryland's biggest offensive output of the season, as the Terps dominated the Hawks, 94-71. The normally earth-bound Turtles had no trouble eluding the St. Joe's birds of prey.

Playing in only her second game of the season, and her first at home, Lynetta Kizer, coming off the bench, posted a career-high and game-high 25 points (in only 24 minutes). Saturday may have been Netta's post-suspension debut, but tonight was definitely her coming out party!

In addition to scoring all those points, Netta should also be credited with one very much appreciated assist: Maryland's (talented) cheerleaders throw T-shirts into the crowd after every Terp 3-pointer this season. Well, thanks to a beautiful beyond-the-arc shot by Netta, the BCs netted a new Maryland Tee in the T-shirt-toss. (Thank you Netta! And thank you Cheerleaders!)

Several other Terps also had double-figure nights. Super-Soph Alyssa Thomas challenged the Hawks' defense in the paint (time and time again), either scoring or drawing the foul (or both) -- and finished with 21 points, 11 coming on free throws. Meanwhile, T-Hawk notched yet another double-double, putting up 17 points and pulling down a game-high 12 boards, a big part of the Terps' monster effort on the glass, as they outrebounded the Hawks, 57-22 (!). Laurin Mincy added 14 points (and 6 assists) and Alicia DeVaughn finished with double-digit rebounds (11).

Unfortunately, Anjale Barrett sustained a knee injury during the first half; she was helped off the court to the locker room . . . but fortunately appeared to be able to put some weight on the injured knee. We were heartened to see Anj return later to the arena -- though not to the game -- and we certainly hope that her injury turns out to be nothing serious.

As enjoyable as it was to watch all the scoring and rebounding, we have to confess that the game wasn't as much fun as some others . . . frankly, it lacked pace, as the whistle-happy officials interrupted play repeatedly, calling a total of 41 fouls. And they could've (and in some cases, should've) called more, if they had wanted to. There were quite a few trips, shoves and at least one obvious example of jersey-grabbing (by a Hawk, of course) that went unnoticed by the crew in black and white.

A good outing (and outcome!) by the Terps, but still a long night for fans and teams alike.

That's especially so since some of us still have an early workday tomorrow, and the Terps have an even earlier wake up call for their 5:00 AM flight to Miami. (However, if the BCs were headed for Miami in the morning, instead of to our offices, we wouldn't be complaining.)

Yes, next up for the Terps is Thanksgiving Day in South Florida. (Lucky them!) And after feasting on Thursday, the team gets to work off those holiday calories with back-to-back games at a holiday tournament on Friday and Saturday, first against tournament host Florida International University (6 PM Friday), and then against CSU Bakersfield (2 PM Saturday).

The BCs are very thankful for all the blessings and joy in our lives, including the joy of Maryland Women's Basketball. We wish every one associated with the program, and every one of our readers, a very Happy Thanksgiving. And to all those who are hitting the road this week, we wish you safe travels.

Go Terps! Beat the Golden Panthers . . . and then the Road Runners!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


The BCs thought about road-tripping up to Baltimore tonight for the Terps' game against the UMBC Retrievers, but when we thought about the greenhouse gas effect of a round trip drive from Virginia to Charm City (not to mention the cost of gas), we decided it would be environmentally more responsible to spend $5.95 to watch the game on-line. Watching the game, though, we were happy to see that a healthy contingent of red-clad Terps fans had made the trip.

As things turned out, we wound up envying those fans (for a while, at least), as they did not suffer whiplash from 40 minutes of following the action via the herky-jerky movements of the Retrievers' video cam operator. If the BCs are wearing neck braces the next time you see us, don't ask, you'll know why.

The video wasn't the only thing off-kilter tonight -- the Terps weren't very steady, either. Although they won, 70-59, they struggled against UMBC throughout most of the game, and for a little while there, we thought the margin of victory might only be single digits. UMBC deserves a lot of credit for their gutsy performance tonight. The Retrievers were playing a team with more talent, and they pushed the Terps hard. The Dogs earned a moral victory, if not an actual "W."

Three Terps finished in double figures. Tianna Hawkins had another monster performance. T-Hawk posted a double-double by halftime, ending with a game-high 19 points and grabbing a game-high 18 rebounds by the final buzzer. Super Frosh Brene Moseley added 14 points and 5 assists. Lynetta Kizer -- back from her suspension -- played in her first game of the season, and finished in double figures with 12 points. Netta did not start either half. She entered the game with 11:45 left in the first half and played significant, but somewhat limited, minutes.

This was the Terps' first road game of the season. It's always harder to play away from home. We're sure the coaches have been telling them that all week. But sometimes seeing -- and experiencing -- is believing. Hopefully, tonight's harder-than-expected win will be a valuable learning experience for the young Terps team. Maryland will need to play a lot better on the road than they did tonight if they are going to have a successful ACC season. The BCs have every confidence that they will.

Next up . . . a game on Tuesday at Comcast against St. Joseph's from the Atlantic-10 at 7 PM. FYI, former Terp Natasha Cloud transferred to St. Joe's this summer -- a school very close to her home -- in order to support family members struggling with serious medical issues. Tash is redshirting this season, so while it's possible she'll be in the house on Tuesday, don't expect to see her take the court against her old teammates.

Go Terps . . . Beat the Hawks!

The Terps Hit the Road tonight for the first time this season. Their opponent: the UMBC Retrievers. Tip-off in Baltimore is scheduled for 7 PM.

Not only is this Maryland's first away game, but (we have it on good authority) it will also signal the return of Lynetta Kizer to the Terps' line up.

We don't know (and frankly, we don't want to know) what earned Netta her 5-game suspension. We're sure that Coach B had a very good reason for benching her senior center. We respect the fact that no player (no matter how big a star) is given a Get Out of Jail Free card by the Terps coaching staff. And we did not fail to notice that, throughout her suspension, Netta was the #1 cheerleader for her teammates on the court. We were happy to see that.

Welcome Back Kotter Kizer!

Go Terps . . . Beat the Retrievers! Woof! Woof!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Women's basketball is a relatively small community. So when tragedy strikes, many of us -- not only the professionals who work in the game and who work in the media, but also those of us who are simply fans -- feel the loss as well.

Last night, the WBB community lost a couple of their own, tragically. A couple of good people: Oklahoma State Head Coach Kurt Budke and Assistant Coach Miranda Serna were killed when the single-engine plane in which they were traveling crashed in Perry County, Arkansas. The pilot and another passenger (neither yet identified) also died.

Coach Budke and Coach Serna were on a recruiting trip.

Our prayers and condolences go out to the families of all those who died, to the Oklahoma State community, and to the entire women's basketball community . . . who lost two of their own.

May they rest in peace.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Beam Us Up to Comcast, Scotty

As Star Trek fans in our youth, the BCs were really hoping that by now (in our not-so-youth), teleportation would be a travel option. Alas, no.

So, with a work-related obstacle, we weren't able to make it to up College Park tonight to be eye-witnesses to Maryland's 3rd win of season . . . this one a complete romp over the Tigers from nearby Towson University, 82-46. ("A work-related obstacle" interfering with our seeing the Terps? Yeah, yeah, we know our priorities are a bit skewed. It happens. Fortunately, not too often.)

We did, however, make it home in time to follow the "action" on Gametracker. And from that (admittedly limited information) it looks like what we missed was a first-half tag-team beat-down by Bones Moseley and Laurin Mincy!

Bones was seemingly scoring at will (15 first half points on 5-7 shooting, including 3 of 4 from 3 point range!) and dishing out assists to her teammates, while Laurin chipped in 11 points for her team . . . all in the first period. So it should comes as no surprise that Maryland headed to the locker room up by 26.

No disrepect to Towson, but Maryland just had too many weapons. This game, for all intents and purposes, was over well before the final buzzer.

Every Terp saw action. Brene and Laurin led the Terps in minutes played (28), and Bones led all scorers with 26 points (didn't we say she was special!), while Laurin finished with 15. Alyssa Thomas (14) and Anjale Barrett (11) also recorded double-digit scoring. Bronx dished out 6 assists . . . more that the entire Towson team combined. Anj is really demonstating her senior leadership in so many ways! Whitney Bays and Alicia DeVaughn led all rebounders with 10 each.

Once again, the Terps were playing without Lynetta Kizer. Make no mistake, she's sorely missed, but fortunately her teammates are getting the job done in her absence.

Next, Maryland hits the road for their first "away" game of the season . . . all the way to Baltimore to face the UMBC Retrievers on Saturday at 7 PM. (BTW, the Retrievers are giving out free T-shirts to first 1,000 fans!) So it should be a fun, fan atmosphere.

Go Turtles . . . Beat the Dogs!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Washington, D.C. area is home to two strong teams -- Maryland and Georgetown -- from two of the country's strongest basketball conferences -- the ACC and the Big East. So when those two teams meet (as they did this afternoon), the winner comes away not only with a W, but also with bragging rights in the DMV. Last year, those bragging rights belonged to the Hoyas, who defeated the Terps during the regular season, at McDonough, and then ended Maryland's season by beating the Terps again (at Comcast), in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament.

But today was different. With memories of that embarrassing loss in March still fresh in their minds, the Terps dominated the Hoyas, 72-53. Maryland scored the first points of the game, and never trailed. Georgetown kept the game competitive through much of the first half . . . they were down only 8 at the break. However, after the intermission, the Terps quickly opened up a 10-point lead and continued to build on it. With 6 minutes left in the game, the margin had stretched to 20 points. The Terps' largest lead was 24. There were no last minute heroics or runs by the Hoyas -- Georgetown was unable to make any real dent in Maryland's lead. The only thing to be decided was the final score.

The Terps' win today was the result of a balanced team effort in which four of the starters finished in double figures. Super Soph Alyssa Thomas led all scorers with 19 points; she also grabbed 15 rebounds for another double-double. Tianna Hawkins was right behind . . . with a monstrous performance in the paint. T-Hawk also notched a double-double (17 points and 14 boards). And we were thrilled to see Alicia DeVaughn really raise her game this afternoon, contributing 14 points and 7 rebounds. Tianna's and Alicia's efforts were crucial, as Maryland was playing (once again) without senior center Lynetta Kizer (who remains on indefinite suspension).

Speaking of seniors, we can't say enough about the contribution today of senior PG Anjale Barrett! Her poise and veteran leadership were absolutely critical to Maryland's coming out on top. "Bronx" scored 10 points, dished out 5 assists, stole the ball three times, and started a highlight-reel play (of the game) on the defensive end of the floor that continued to the other end, finishing with a Maryland score. Anjale was the glue that helped hold this young, talented team together.

And as long as we're handing out well-deserved praise, let's not forget Laurin Mincy. The sophomore guard drew the daunting assignment this afternoon of defending Georgetown star Sugar Rodgers. Many players, from many teams, who've drawn that assignment haven't enjoyed it very much. But the relentless Laurin hounded Rodgers and simply Shut.Her.Down. Rodgers was held scoreless for the entire first half, and did not score until there were only 8 minutes left in the game. Rodgers fouled out just before the final buzzer, having put up only 4 points.

The (frequently ungracious) Hoyas Head Coach, Terri Williams-Flournoy, credited Maryland's defense with doing "an OK job on Sugar." Well, the BCs think the coverage of Sugar by Laurin, with terrific backup from Kim Rodgers (no relation), was definitely more than just OK. It was outstanding. (But no need to trust us; according to the Washington Post's Kathy Orton, Laurin and Kimmie took Sugar Rodgers "almost completely out of the game.")

We'd also like to mention that the Hoyas (known for their defensive prowess) pressed the Terps throughout the game. But today, their press was, in a word, ineffective. The Maryland players looked for their open teammates, and passed the ball out of the press . . . which occasionally resulted in easy baskets for the Terps. In a major reversal from last season, it was Georgetown (not the Terps) who earned the ignominious distinction of recording game-high turnovers (18).

That's what happened. How the game went. Who did what to whom. But, for us (the fans), how did it feel? It felt Great! Losing to the Hoyas twice last season was tough . . . on the players and on the coaches, most, but also on the fans. Today, practically from the opening tip, it became clear that something was different. Better different. What we saw during the first half (while the final outcome was still very much in doubt) was that this year's Terps were tougher, more balanced . . . and smarter. They would not be lulled into making costly mistakes. They would win or lose playing their game. And, as became patently clear in the second half, their game was better! Terps basketball, offensively and defensively, is quality basketball and F-U-N to watch.

It's only the first weekend of the regular season, but a big game like this one, in the exciting, loud and well-attended atmosphere of Comcast Center, felt almost playoff-like. There were "oldies" in the house (we saw Lang, Riss and KT) and some soon-to-be-newbies (recent Class of 2012 signees). Everybody cheering for the Red, Black & Gold seemed to be having a good time. All in all, a really, really good day to be a Terps fan.

And to top it off, (for now) the DMV bragging rights belong to the Maryland Terrapins. No doubt about it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Today Was Special for a variety of reasons. Of course, there was that spooky numerology thing: 11-11-11. That doesn't happen very often. More important, it was Veteran's Day . . . when we honor those who serve and sacrifice for our country. That always makes it a special day.

Then add the fact that today was the start of the NCAA women's basketball regular season. 134 games today! Lots of teams in action all over the U.S. . . . and Maryland was one of them.

This evening at Comcast, the Terps played host to their neighbor to the north, Loyola. The Terps v. Greyhounds has become an annual affair, only the venue changes each year. But, fortunately for Maryland, the outcome didn't. Once again, the Turtles outraced the Canines --wire to wire. Final score: Maryland 84, Loyola 46.

So, to recap, on 11/11/11, Maryland played its #1 game of the regular season and recorded its #1 win. Whoa! That's a lot of ones! We still think this is kinda spooky.

But back to the game: In a contest like tonight's, when one (there's that number again!) team dominates another from start to finish, the fans (that would be us) have the chance to focus on some individual players and individual performances . . . since we're not overly worried about the final outcome. And what we saw tonight were a couple of very special people.

Number One First, we couldn't help but notice that the player the BCs dubbed Super Frosh last season has miraculously morphed into Super Soph. Alyssa Thomas. Is she special? You bet. She's all that and more. Alyssa scored the first 6 points of the game, finished with 20 (game high), grabbed 7 boards -- and played only 23 minutes. She's truly something special to watch.

But Alyssa's not the only special player who grabbed our attention. It's still early, but the BCs now have a possible new candidate to take over as this year's Super Frosh. Not a stretch to guess who we might be considering for that title, since the Terps only have one true freshman this season, Brene Moseley. Is she special? So far, it sure looks that way. Tonight (and in the exhibitions) she played with the poise and skill of a player with far more experience. And playing the point is a tough position for a freshman (or any player, for that matter). Against the Greyhounds, Brene came off the bench to score 17 points (5-6 from the field and 2-2 from outside the arc!); she dished out 4 assists (should've been 5) and only turned the ball over 1 time (there's that number, again). Yes, Brene is a player we look forward to seeing much more of as the season develops. (BTW, TurtleSportsReport had a nice feature on Brene earlier . . . here. And this article by Gene Wang of the Washington Post makes clear how critical the play of Brene and the other guards will be to the Terps this season . . . here.)

We also liked what we saw from several other players . . . strong performances from Laurin Mincy (11 points), Tianna Hawkins (8 points and 7 rebounds), and Whitney Bays (6 points and a game-high 8 boards). The minutes were spread liberally (as you would expect against an overmatched opponent). And during her 6 minutes of playing time, Essence Townsend continued to show real improvement: 3 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 block. Great to see.

Also great to see were some Maryland legends who had returned to College Park to cheer for those now carrying on their legacy. Crystal Langhorne, Kristi Toliver, Marissa Coleman and Jade Perry were all in the house tonight.

A good solid opening performance (for the still Lynetta-less) Terps. But the next game will be a much much tougher test. The Georgetown Hoyas, who ended the Terps' season last March in the NCAA Tourney, travel to Comcast on Sunday for a 2 PM rematch with Maryland. Don't miss this one! The Terps need all the support we can give them.

Go Maryland . . . Beat the Hoyas!

* * * * * * *

In other news, three future Terps -- Malina Howard, Tierney Pfirman, and Chloe Pavlech -- signed their Letters of Intent this week, and those players seem to be pretty special too. They'll all be arriving on campus next fall. We look forward to seeing them play!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Holy Rollover II

The BCs may be shameless, but we're not dishonest. So, for the record, we "borrowed" the title of this post -- Holy Rollover -- from a loyal reader, Marcie, who used that term in a comment to our last post. It made us laugh.

We also laughed at her reference to the Terps' exhibition/early season opponents from the "WWJD conference." We thought that was pretty funny too . . . also pretty accurate: Messiah, Holy Family, Loyola, Georgetown. So we shamelessly "borrowed" that as well. Thanks, Marcie! If one of our (heretofore nonexistent) sponsors ever decides to invest in BasketCases Bobbleheads, you can be sure you'll get a limited edition set.

As for this evening's game, the Terps hosted the D-II Holy Family Tigers in their second (and final) exhibition at Comcast. The Tigers, ranked #18 in the preseason Division II poll, pulled out to an early lead over the #10/11 D-I Terps, scoring the first 1-point of the game. But the home team fought back, putting together a run of its own . . . 27 unanswered points. It wasn't until 10:23 remaining in the first half that Holy Family managed to score its first field goal of the game. Final score: Maryland 94-36. No disrespect intended, but this one really was a Holy Rollover, Batman. The Tigers did their best, but were obviously overmatched.

Alyssa Thomas led all scorers with 23 points . . . in only 19 minutes of play. Four other Terps scored in double figures: Bones Mosley (16), Alicia DeVaughn (14), Tianna Hawkins (12) and Laurin Mincy (10). Alicia and Tianna both notched double-doubles: Alicia grabbed a game-high 14 boards and Tianna added 11. The BCs also want to give a shout out to Essence Townsend, who blocked 3 shots, scored 6 points and pulled down 7 rebounds in 17 minutes of playing time. Essence looks a good deal more comfortable out on the court than she did a year ago.

For the second game in a row, the Terps were without the services of Lynetta Kizer, who remains on indefinite suspension. Netta was in warm-ups on the bench . . . cheering, encouraging her teammates, conversing with the coaching staff. In other words, she wasn't playing, but she was very much engaged. Kim Rodgers also got the night off, but not due to any suspension. Unofficially, the word was her knees could benefit from a little rest before the regular season begins. And that will be happening very soon, indeed.

Tonight's game concluded the games-that-don't-count portion of Maryland's schedule. From here on out, each W or L will become part of the team's record that determines where Maryland will be ranked when the NCAA committee meets in March of next year to fill out their all-important bracket for the Big Dance. Though ACC play is still a couple of months away, every game and every opponent -- whether they come from the Big East, Big Ten, Atlantic 10, Colonial or even the WWJD conference -- will have an impact on the outcome of Maryland's season. In other words, every opponent must be taken seriously and none of them should be "rollovers."

First up in the real season is Loyola, whose players and coaches will travel all the way from Baltimore to face the Terps Friday night (7 PM) at Comcast. Time to get this season started!

Go Terps . . . Beat the Greyhounds!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


It was only an exhibition. Really just a scrimmage between two teams with fans in attendance. But this evening, when the Messiah came to Comcast to face the 2011-12 Terps (minus one), it meant that the all-too-long (and all-too-depressing) off-season was finally at an end. College basketball is back! Hallelujah!

As expected, the D-III Falcons were no match for the #11 ranked D-I Terrapins. Even playing without senior star Lynetta Kizer (who apparently was a naughty girl -- suspended indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of team rules), the Terps dominated Messiah, 82-36. Props to the Falcons . . . they never looked intimidated or defeated. They played hard. This experience should stand them in good stead when they tip off against their own D-III competitors this season.

As for the Terps, four players finished in double figures (Anjale Barrett, Tianna Hawkins, Alyssa Thomas and Laurin Mincy). Laurin led all scorers with 17 points, and the BCs were impressed. We won't know for sure until Laurin faces some tougher opponents, but it looked to us like Laurin's game has really grown since her rookie season. Another player who caught our attention was freshman PG Brene Moseley. "Bones" dished out 7 assists in her debut. Not bad at all. Finally, with Netta in warm-ups on the bench, Tianna dominated the paint, finishing with a double-double (12 points & 13 boards).

This was hardly an edge-of-your-seat nailbiter, but we still had fun. And we look forward to many more opportunities to cheer on the Terps -- and have fun -- this season.

Next up: another exhibition at home, this one against Holy Family at 7 PM on Sunday.