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Slowing it down vs. Syracuse not part of Maryland's nature

One ingredient for Maryland’s 6-5 overtime upset of top-seeded Syracuse in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals on Sunday was the Terps’ ability to dominate time of possession and keep the ball in the offense’s sticks.

But slowing the pace was not part of the game plan, asserted Maryland coach John Tillman who said he has heard some complaints about the team’s strategy.

“Not once was it talked about,” Tillman said during an NCAA-organized conference call on Tuesday morning. “Not once was it said, ‘Stall.’ … That’s not what we wanted to do, that’s not what we preach. But we also wanted to be smart with the ball.”

The Terps have relied on a senior-laden attack in Ryan Young and Grant Catalino, and sophomore Owen Blye has emerged as a third weapon. But the offense has also gotten a lift from its midfield, which has accounted for almost 33 percent of the scoring between the attack and midfield units.

Junior Joe Cummings ranks second in goals with 25, sophomore John Haus is tied with Blye for second in assists with 12, and the midfielders scored four of the team's goals in the win against the Orange.

“I think we’ve asked the middies to be more involved,” Tillman said. “… The middies feel they can make plays, and we have confidence in them to do that.”

Posted by Edward Lee at 11:00 AM | | Comments (13)
Categories: Maryland


Can someone please tell me why our state sport is jousting and not lacrosse as it should be?
Ed: Sounds like a good question for your state representative.

Tillman can do no wrong. I think he gained alot of fans in his post game interview after the Syracuse game.

Maryland deserved the win, they were the better, more inspired team throughout, but when you have double digit stall warnings in a game, you can't tell me that wasn't part of the strategy much less not talked about once. Just because it produced an ugly brand of lacrosse doesn't mean it wasn't obviously effective. Coach Tillman doesn't need to be defensive about producing a winning strategy.

Ed, Will you ask your state representative, you've got some pull? Loved reading you posts all year, such a great tradition in this state.
Ed: As soon as I find out who my representative is, I'm asking. Thanks for reading.

I believe Tillman. Syracuse this season has been known for its stifling defense. Look at the lack of scoring against . Deliberately looking to penetrate a very difficult D is not the same as stalling. Forcing it against 'Cuse would be a recipe for losing. Conversely, I think there is ample season-long evidence that "stalling" is not the Terps strategy.

Who cares if he stalled? He won! What should anyone care how MD did it?
Ed: Not sure. Tillman just alluded to some criticism out there of how Maryland won the game.

The reason our state sport is jousting is this was the sport of either MD Sen. Bush Or Miller grandfather.

In a game of this magnitude, every possession counts. Apply that to a strong defense and you're going to get long possessions. Both offenses were deliberate because both defenses are very good.

Seems like the responsible approach to take if you want to win.

sweet. thankay sir. i'm gonna buy you a beer one day.

The Maryland state government designated lacrosse the state team sport in 2004. Jousting remains the state sport, so Maryland has two state sports.

Syracuse's defense didn't get the Terps much of a chance otherwise without setting up plays. I think the stall calls were the price of doing business against such a tight defense.

I'd hoped to see the Terps take more opportunities to attack in transition, but they were much better than Cornell...

Heard complaints about the style?I think I can live with the result for this year and the players are working for good shots against standup defenses.Give me a break! How long has it been since we were in the 'ship playing for a title?And we had great players all along for this down time.I don't want to hear any whining from style point fans after ND put me to sleep last year in the final college game.

The reason that jousting is the State sport is politics, pure and simple. When the bill to install jousting as the State sport was introduced in the 1984 session of the General Assembly, it was little noticed and was not widely reported. People in the Baltimore area reckoned the bill a "joke," something that would not even make it to a vote. But they reckoned without taking into account the influence of Maryland State Senator [now Senate Majority Leader] Thomas V. Mike Miller, who, because he hails from Prince George's County, fancies himself a Southern Maryland country gentleman. Jousting, a lot like polo, is a sport played by "country gentlemen." Miller engineered the bill through the Legislature, without opposition and without much fanfare, and much to the delight of his small coterie of supporters from Southern Maryland, who were the only people who wanted the bill enacted. It was just another example of Miller's ability to pull the wool over the eyes of the majority of the State.

You gotta love it when people just hate politicians so much they make things up. Jousting was adopted as the state sport in 1962 as the first recognized state sport in the country. Mike Miller was first elected in 1975.

Truth is that Delegate Henry J. Fowler introduced it in 1962 since he was a member of the Maryland Jousting Tournament Association that was founded in 1950. They have a website and Wikipedia has the name of the bill for those wondering. That explains why there was no fanfare in 1984, there was no bill introduced.

Now, in 1984 the Ecphora quadricostata was named the state fossil. Miller could have had a dirty hand in that, but I'm not sure.

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About Faceoff
Faceoff is The Baltimore Sun's blog devoted to college and high school lacrosse. Faceoff contributors include Sun reporters Edward Lee, Mike Preston and Katherine Dunn.

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