Sideline reporter Scott Van Pelt is not in any hurry to pronounce the Terrapins basketball team dead. As Maryland was falling apart in an 87-75 loss to Connecticut on Thursday night, Van Pelt was posting comments on social media that fans of the struggling team can't really take offense with:
"Everybody's going to look at this game as Maryland is on the precipice and they went down, but before that the game hadn't been as bad. This was a bad loss for them," Van Pelt said on "The Dan Patrick Show" after the game. "Maryland is going to come back and have a really good year."
The Terrapins have shown glimpses of brilliance this season, winning 10 of their first 16 games. Maryland is tied for No. 22 in the national polls, and its home win against then-No. 3 Virginia was the program's first at Comcast Center in at least a decade.
But the Terrapins (14-10, 4-7) have gotten outscored by 55 points in their two past defeats, including blowing an 18-point lead and a 41-28 halftime lead in Saturday's 118-85 loss to the Blue Devils.
So fans of the struggling Terrapins are having a hard time looking past their current three-game losing streak.
"My friend texted me and he said 'Just give them a few more weeks before you declare them dead,'" Van Pelt said. "Are they dead? I think they're quite alive. I think they just need to learn how to play defense better.
"What I said to one fan the other day after a game: 'You're not going to listen to me on what's happening with Maryland. You can scream and yell and write the paper. You guys are burying them. You guys are making a mess of their season. I will not let that happen.'"
But could the Terrapins lose Van Pelt's vote of confidence?
"I think they are dead serious," Van Pelt told Patrick. "I have a personal radio interview coming up [in New York City] where I don't have much of an answer."