Posted by SuckaFish
Down by one with time running out, Greivis Vasquez crossed half court and launched a desperation heave. As it hit the backboard and went through the net roughly half of the sellout crowd at the Comcast Center celebrated the apparent victory. The rest knew that it didn’t count. Just before he released the ball the Maryland bench had called timeout.
So with 1.5 seconds left and the ball near half court the Terps found an unlikely hero, Cliff Tucker.
And that’s why Gary is a genius. During the timeout he drew up a play that no one was expecting.
Eric Hayes had 15 points and hit a three to give the Terps the lead with 1:20 to go. Gary has him inbounding the ball.
Vasquez scored 18 and had become Maryland’s fifth all-time leading scorer earlier in the afternoon. And don’t forget his half-court heave seconds before. Gary uses him as a decoy running past midcourt and away from the basket.
Landon Milbourne is the second-leading scorer for the season. He sets a pick for Vasquez at half court and is no factor in the play.
Sean Mosely might be the best pure shooter on the team. He’s on the bench.
Dino Gregory meanders to the top of the key and stands there.
Cliff Tucker had only played nine minutes and made just one field goal so far. When the Terps absolutely had to have a big shot he’s the only player going towards the basket and getting into position to shoot. Pure genius.
Last season the play would have failed and “fans” would be calling for Gary’s head. What a difference a year makes.
The win puts Maryland (19-7, 9-3) in sole possession of second place in the ACC one game behind Duke. The Terps host the Blue Devils on March 3.
As the celebration died down Coach Williams was asked if he had seen Tucker hit a shot like that in practice, or anywhere else. After a long pause and a near chuckle Williams answered, “I saw him today.”