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A look ahead to Terps hoops season

Sure, it's 90 degrees out. But what is stopping us from looking ahead for a moment to the hoops season? Absolutely nothing. So let's proceed.

What do you think of Gary Williams' recent tweet? The one where he said: "With Greivis (Vasquez) back and our 09' class and the rest of our team improving every day, I truly believe we have the chance to be top 25 next year."

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Here's my take:

Maryland could be a top 25 team, but some things would need to happen.

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Greivis coming back is welcome news for Maryland, but it still needs more offense. The Terps certainly hustle on defense -- trapping and pressing and clogging the lane. But what happens when they get into a shootout such as when North Carolina hit 11 of its first 14 three-point attempts to begin a 108-91 victory in Chapel Hill?

Maryland needs more scoring options. Sean Mosley averaged 5.3 points per game and Adrian Bowie averaged 9.0. The Terps need more scoring from these backcourt guys not named "Vasquez." Note: an improving Eric Hayes averaged 10.3 points.

I'm looking at Mosley and Bowie -- and Landon Milbourne-- as sources of more scoring. I think the Terps need to have at least two of these three players pick it up offensively.

And it could well happen. Mosley, a freshman, is such a hard worker and does other things so well, particularly rebound. But he was 5-for-21 on threes (23.8 percent). We've all seen players make big strides once their freshmen season is behind them.

Bowie, so speedy to the basket, can also improve his outside game. He was 13 of 58 on threes (22.4 percent).

But I see Milbourne as the key. He was Maryland's second-leading scorer, behind Vasquez, at 11.4 points per game. But he frequently got beat up playing out of position against taller opponents.

Milbourne should benefit from increased maturity, confidence and -- more important -- from the arrival of inside guys Jordan Williams of Torrington, Conn., and James Padgett of Brooklyn, N.Y.

At least some of Milbourne's inside burden will be lifted if Williams, who told me he is almost 6 feet 10, and Padgett, who is 6-9, can contribute immediately.

The overachieving Terps averaged 69.8 points per game in conference play last season. I think they can do better, and I think they'll need to.

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