College Basketball Nation: 100319 houston-maryland

SPOKANE, Wash. -- When the season started, Maryland coach Gary Williams didn't really know what to make of 6-foot-10, 260-pound freshman Jordan Williams.

"I wasn't sure how much he was going to play," Gary Williams said. "But we needed someone inside to take up some room."

[+] EnlargeJordan Williams
Steve Dykes/US PresswireMaryland freshman Jordan Williams powered his way to 21 points and 17 rebounds.
Williams took up some room in his first NCAA tournament game: He earned a space on the list of "best performances of the first round."

Williams scored a career-high 21 points and pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds in Maryland's 89-77 win over Houston.

The two games before his tourney debut? Williams scored a combined 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. He averaged 9.2 points and 8.3 rebounds this year.

So this was a bit of a "Hello world" moment.

Jordan Williams said he tried to force things in the ACC tournament loss to Georgia Tech and he struggled. So he went with a different approach here.

"I just let the game come to me," he said.

His goal was simple: "I want to get every rebound."

That notion sounds like it might have originated from Terrapins star Greivis Vasquez, who has taken Williams under his wing.

"He really pushes Jordan," Gary Williams said.

Maryland earned a date Sunday with Michigan State. Williams won't sneak up on the Spartans, a much stronger rebounding team than the Cougars.

But Williams still figures to try to take up some room again.

Final: Maryland 89, Houston 77

March, 20, 2010
SPOKANE, Wash. -- The star didn't lead Maryland to a workmanlike 89-77 win over Houston. It was the wily veteran who doesn't want to say goodbye and the young guy ready to say hello.

With ACC Player of the Year Greivis Vasquez mostly operating as a floor manager, senior Landon Milbourne and freshman Jordan Williams spearheaded the effort.

Williams finished with a career-high 21 points and a career-high 17 rebounds -- the day's high total cleaning the glass -- while Milbourne chipped in 19 points and seven boards.

Some thoughts.

  • Houston couldn't stop Maryland from scoring in large part because it got whipped on the boards. The Terrapins finished with a 47 to 27 advantage in rebounding. One word: dominant.
  • Houston's Aubrey Coleman finished with 26 points, the season average for the nation's leading scorer. The Cougars also got 24 points from Kelvin Lewis.
  • Vasquez didn't exactly have a bad night. He scored 16 points, pulled down seven boards and dished six assists.
  • Maryland has won 10 of its last 11 games. It also has won 10 consecutive NCAA tournament first round games.
  • Maryland coach Gary Williams and Houston coach Tom Penders entered the game tied for fifth among active Division I coaches with 648 victories. Williams is now alone in fifth.

Halftime: Maryland 39, Houston 37

March, 19, 2010
SPOKANE, Wash. -- Maryland only leads Houston 39-37 at the half after the Cougars Adam Brown hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer right before the break.

Some thoughts.

  • Houston's Aubrey Coleman, the nation's leading score, is doing his thing. He's got 16 points and five rebounds at the half, while ACC Player of the Year Greivis Vasquez is playing more of an all-around game, scoring just four points but adding three rebounds and four assists.
  • Maryland is dominating the boards. It's outrebounded Houston 26-16.
  • Houston is certainly not playing sloppy. It has zero turnovers, compared to five for the Terrapins (which really isn't that many). The Cougars assist-to-turnover ratio, while mathematically impressive, isn't that great in reality in that they have just two assists.
  • Maryland's Jordan Williams already has a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.