There is something about this year's Maryland team that even Gary Williams hasn't seen before.
Or, at least, not in about eight years.
Get my drift?
I'm not saying that the Terps are going to win another national championship, or even an ACC championship, but the resolve of this year's team over the past few weeks has been intriguing to watch.
Saturday night's 104-100 win over Virginia Tech at Cassell Coliseum marked the fourth time the Terps have come from behind during their five-game winning streak, the second time on the road. It wasn't the 12-point deficit they faced at North Carolina State, but Maryland was down eight in the second half against a much better team than the Wolfpack.
Of course you can say Greivis Vasquez carried Maryland with a career-high 41 points that put him at No. 3, behind only Juan Dixon and Len Bias, on UM's all-time scoring list. But Vasquez's final points came early in the second overtime. After that it was Sean Mosley and Eric Hayes hitting big free throws.
Lost in the transition game that saw 164 shots from the field taken and made, was the toughness of Maryland's interior defense. Jordan Williams had only nine points, but he had a career-best 15 rebounds. Dino Gregory gave the Terps some tough minutes when Landon Milbourne got into foul trouble and eventually fouled out.
Another big stat: the Terps had only 11 turnovers in the game, and just two in the second half. It helped that the Hokies didn't press, but Maryland gave itself scoring chances nearly every time it 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.
What the Terps also did better than nearly every team in the ACC this season was limit Malcolm Delaney's trips to the free throw line, especially in the first half. The former Towson Catholic star eventually got there 10 times, making eight, but his only misses with 39.5 seconds left in the second overtime let the Terps escape.
It sets up a huge showdown with Duke going into Wednesday's game at Comcast Center. I'll write about that more Sunday, but it's probably the most important regular-season meeting between the two teams in awhile. Maybe eight years ago, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Certainly the Terps won't.