In a normal year, a basketball team must deal with deletions from its rotation for various reasons.
A reserve transfers. A guy is suspended. Some one gets hurt. Whatever.
It doesn’t work the other way nearly as much. Guys do become eligible after a semester, and players do return from injury and suspension.
It’s interesting because Maryland has faced the situation of integrating a new player into a key spot in the rotation only so often. Tahj Holden’s foot injury during the Terrapins’ first Final Four season springs to mind as a great example.
Obviously, Dino Gregory’s situation isn’t quite like that. And it isn’t like he was invisible on a day-to-day basis leading into his season debut today, either.
“He’s been practicing with us, so that’s the good point,” coach Gary Williams said. “It’s not like he wasn’t playing at all with us. The games are different. There’s no doubt about it, with the pressure and all those things that go into games. He has to make those adjustments as he goes. But Dino’s been around.”
Eventually, the question of whether Gregory will start came up. Williams naturally didn’t actually answer the query, but did offer an explanation of the thinking that will surround whether the junior will immediately leap into the starting five.
“We’ll see,” Williams said. “Jordan [Williams] has played really well. He had a great game. For a freshman to walk out there against the No. 3 team in the country and do what he did, that means something. whatever happens, we’ll be a deeper team inside for sure. We need that. We’ve been outrebounded quite a bit so far this year, and hopefully this will help us become a better rebounding team.”