It was growing late in the first half and Maryland trailed Niagara by six points. The sparse, fidgety Comcast Center crowd had to be wondering when and if the Terps would check in mentally for their National Invitation Tournament opener.
Coach Mark Turgeon is hoarse with a bad cold, scoring leader Dez Wells has been nursing a sore knee since midway through the ACC tournament, and Maryland has had to get over playing four games in seven days and not making the NCAA tournament.
Every Monday, Baltimore Sun blogger and reporter Matt Vensel will rank the most significant athletes and events in Baltimore sports that week based on accomplishments on and off the field. Because, well, why not?
Maryland's men's basketball season will continue in the NIT, where the Terps are a No. 2 seed and will open Tuesday night at Comcast Center against seventh-seeded Niagara of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Dez Wells is a sophomore but played for Xavier last season. A handful of other players in Maryland's regular rotation — four freshmen and transfer Logan Aronhalt — are also making their ACC tournament debuts.
The Baltimore sports scene is blessed with a bunch of talented bloggers who bring their unique perspective to the conversation. Each week, Matt Vensel of The Baltimore Sun hopes to chat with one of them in a regular feature called Blogger on Blogger. This week, he exchanged emails with Dave Tucker, who writes about Maryland basketball for Testudo Times.
Maryland's recent slump has not been a total shock to second-year coach Mark Turgeon. When he looked at the schedule before the season, Turgeon saw how difficult the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference slate might unfold for a young team.
Eric Hayes spent the first two years after graduating Maryland in 2010 playing basketball in three different countries and moving closer to his ultimate goal ¿ becoming a coach like his father, Kendall, who had coached for years in Northern Virginia and stopped to watch his son play for the Terps.
The Ravens¿ fearless leader has been seen many times barking last-minute instructions and words of wisdom at his teammates before they take the field. And this week, Lewis is in London ¿for a three-day minicamp with the London Warriors of the BAFA National Leagues,¿ according to a report by CBSsports.com.
Confidence and ambition weren't enough for Maryland to overcome fourth-ranked North Carolina, which again used fast breaks effectively in an 85-69 victory that was its third win over the Terps this season.