- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 16, 2003

Seen and heard last night at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C.:
TOP SCORER: Maryland guard Drew Nicholas began the game as the ACC's leading scorer (18.6 points). Coach Gary Williams said whether the senior could handle the additional scoring burden was among his preseason concerns.
"We really didn't know," Williams said. "I knew he could shoot, but he's had to take on some leadership responsibilities and handle the ball some and he's played some really good defense. It's nice to see. You preach to the younger players in your program that they'll get their chance, and he's certainly taken advantage."
Nicholas said he feels extra responsibility during ACC games, though he has scored in double figures in every game.
"I'm not putting any pressure on myself to go out and get X number of points," he said.
THE ENERGIZER?: Guard Chris McCray needed some time to go from prep star to backup, but the freshman's steady defensive improvement resulted in his playing at least 17 minutes in each of the three previous games.
Williams has stressed to McCray that his role is to provide a few quality minutes. McCray is averaging only 4.2 points, but his seven steals against Wagner and four assists against Hampton showed his impact. He didn't even mind being called "the Energizer Bunny."
"I can be that guy," McCray said. "Do little stuff like block shots and get a couple steals or rebounds. I can do that."
McCray was ribbed by teammates recently for using a potent cologne in the locker room. It seems he has quickly fit in.
"Chris has done a good job being accepted by the team. That's not just basketball, that's as a person," Williams said. "Those things are important to a team. You can't just have really good players that don't get along. You're not a very good team when that happens."
STAT SPEAKING: The Terps' defense tops the nation in field goal percentage (35.3). Maryland is second in blocked shots (7.9) behind Connecticut (8.2) and fourth in steals (11.7).
The Terps' scoring margin (20.7 points) is fourth and overall scoring (84.1) ninth. Maryland is second in assists (19.7) behind Georgia (19.9), with guard Steve Blake (7.3) ninth. The Terps' 3-point percentage (39.9) is 22nd.
Rick Snider

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