The Washington Times - December 26, 2008, 05:39PM

With a third of the regular season down, it seemed like a good time to ask a few Maryland players who they were most impressed with at this stage.

The sort of underlying meaning there was to pick out a guy who has exceeded expectations – not necessarily choose the best player. Fortunately, both Dave Neal and Landon Milbourne knew exactly what was meant when the question was asked earlier this week.

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Here’s their take on teammates who have stood out to them in November and December:

DAVE NEAL:

“I think Adrian [Bowie]’s come on strong this season. He’s strong, he’s quick, he’s left-handed. He can get to the basket pretty much any time he wants to. He’s worked real hard. He worked hard this summer and it’s showing off this year. He’s in the starting lineup and he’s the second-leading scorer on the team, I think, and people coming into this year probably weren’t going to expect that. He’s working hard and he’s surprised a lot of people.”

LANDON MILBOURNE:

Dino Gregory, because he was a guy nobody talked about. Especially from last year, guys talk about Greivis, Eric, me, Dave. We’ve been here for three or four years and we know a lot and we know they’re expecting us to pick it up. A guy like Dino, he’s just coming in with no types of expectations. Coach had a lot of expectations, because he knew we needed help inside, so he expected him to come in and rebound. I had no idea he’d be starting some games and being the sixth man off the bench.

“It’s been great. I love playing with him and I love when he’s on the court because I know he’s going to give that energy. In practice, he gives energy every time he comes in and gets the team riled up.”

Without question, Bowie and Gregory are the obvious choices, along with Neal. Should be intriguing to see if someone else – Cliff Tucker, Sean Mosley or Braxton Dupree, perhaps? – can make that sort of difference in the coming weeks.

Patrick Stevens