- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 6, 2003

Although Virginia guard Keith Jenifer has been suspended, Maryland will need to counter his presence tonight anyway. The Terrapins want to deflect any uplift the Cavaliers might gain from their missing man.
"There's an emotional thing now," Terps coach Gary Williams said. "You don't know how it works with them. I've seen it go both ways. You don't know if it makes them more ready to play or upsets the team."
Jenifer was suspended indefinitely after reportedly fighting outside a Charlottesville bar on Sunday. The point guard was a modest part of Virginia's offense with averages of 5.6 points and 5.5 assists.
"It could help them," Maryland forward Calvin McCall said. "It could bring their team together."
Certainly, Virginia (12-7, 3-4 ACC) could use an emotional bump after losing four of six games. But the Cavaliers may find that getting their first ACC road win after three defeats and ending a nine-game losing streak against Maryland may prove especially hard at Comcast Center. However, Williams was wary of Jenifer not playing, because there were no parameters on the suspension.
"Suspended indefinitely what's that mean?" Williams said. "I don't discount the fact he could walk out on the court. There's no date on that. Virginia has changed their starting lineup so many times that this isn't any different."
No.8 Maryland (14-4, 6-1) reaches the midpoint of conference play seeking a 7-1 record, with the only loss at Wake Forest. Five straight wins have given Maryland its highest ranking this season.
Williams acknowledged that 7-1 "would be a big thing," but remained cautious. After all, the Terps weren't expected to lead the ACC after losing four starters.
"It's a position no one thought we would be in," McCall said. "A lot of people underestimated us. The five seniors were here last year and knew what we could achieve, and the young guys have stepped up."
Maryland has jelled since returning to an all-senior lineup after its Jan.15 loss at Wake Forest. The four freshmen have steadily increased their roles as reserves, but the seniors are still the foundation. They've gained added chemistry while the freshmen have learned to play more physically and consistently.
"It's been good, but we still have the whole second round of the ACC, so we have to sustain it," Williams said. "We can't feel too good about ourselves. We feel we can get better. That's the key thing with this team they still feel they can get better. As long as you feel that way and it's an honest feeling, then you'll keep working hard in practice. This group is doing a pretty good job seeking their own identity."
The second half will be more challenging with only three home games. The Terps still have to play at Duke, N.C. State, Georgia Tech and Virginia, teams that are a combined 14-0 at home in the ACC and 42-1 at home overall. Even Florida State is 2-2 at home against ACC teams, compared to 0-4 on the road.
"I feel better going away and playing somebody in somebody else's home anyway," forward Travis Garrison said. "The crowd is against you and hypes your game up more."

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