The Washington Times - November 28, 2008, 08:21PM

My friends from the lacrosse press box, Chuck and Eddie Timanus, would chide me for making the following statement with the caustic praise of “The Captain is making an appearance.”

“Captain” as in Captain Obvious.

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This isn’t quite so blatant as “the team that scores more will win” or “turnovers will be crucial.” But it’s close.

So here it goes.

You need more than one guy in double figures to win. I much prefer three or four, and value balance over one resplendent player in the bigger picture.

But you can’t just have one guy scoring 10 points.

Maryland had one tonight in Orlando as Greivis Vasquez dropped 16 points on Gonzaga. Eric Hayes was second on the team with eight points on 3-for-10 shooting, while Landon Milbourne was 3-for-11 from the floor. The Terrapins, unsurprisingly, lost 81-59.

It was the first time since Jan. 11, 2006 (in a 76-52 loss at Duke), that Maryland had only one player in double figures.

(Two trivial tidbits from that game:

No. 1: It was the final game Chris McCray (12 points) led Maryland in scoring.

No. 2: Dave Neal (two minutes, one rebound, one steal, one turnover) was the only current Terp to play that night.)

I went ahead and compiled a list of the games over the last 10 years (since 1998-99) during which Maryland had only one player in double figures. The list isn’t extensive, but it generally doesn’t look good for Maryland – either because of the result or the quality of play that surely wasn’t very good when a winning team scores, say, 52 points:

* Nov. 28, 2008: Gonzaga 81, Maryland 59 (Vasquez: 16 points)

* Jan. 11, 2006: @Duke 76, Maryland 52 (McCray: 12 points)

* Jan. 11, 2005: @Wake Forest 81, Maryland 66 (Nik Caner-Medley: 21 points)

* Feb. 4, 2004: Maryland 71, @Virginia 67 (John Gilchrist: 26 points)

* Jan. 17, 2004: @Georgia Tech 81, Maryland 71 (Gilchrist: 27 points)

* Jan. 27, 2003: Maryland 52, @Clemson 47 (Drew Nicholas: 14 points)

* March 18, 1999: St. John’s 76, Maryland 62 (Steve Francis: 13 points)

There was a lot to like about Maryland’s victory over Michigan State on Thursday. There was balance, solid 3-point shooting, excellent game management – the sorts of things that bode well for the future.

So while the 3-point shooting was lackluster tonight and the same went for rebounding and an ability to get to the line, the most obvious issue the Terps can’t endure again is a night Vasquez is the only guy scoring with any sort of regularity.

As Eddie and Chuck would said, “Thanks, Captain.”

Patrick Stevens