Sunday, March 8, 2009

Men's Basketball: Maryland vs Wake Forest

There was much anticipation of the Maryland final home game matchup against the No. 10 ranked Wake Forest Demon Deacons. With a win over No. 2 ranked Carolina and a narrow loss to Duke it seemed like the Terps finally got their feet under them and a home matchup against a top-10 team was a great opportunity to secure their inclusion into the NCAA Tournament.

Unfortunately the Deacons had other plans.

Maryland honored Dave Neal before the game this evening by bringing his family out to the court and presenting the lone senior with his jersey behind glass. Dave Neal has had a tough 4 years while playing injured and behind the likes of Bombale Osbey and James Gist. However, Neal has been a cornerstone for the Terps this year both symbolicly and physically on the court. He's the only man the Terps can put in the paint this year to protect against the opposing team on defense. Braxton Dupree hasn't filled that role this year and Neal has been the lone forward out to protect the basket.

I was a little late to the game but I knew that the senior ceremonies would be quick. I readied my SB-8A power pack and 24-70mm lens before heading out to the court. I got some decent shots before game, however, the ceremony wasn't too momentous. As a result the photos were pretty bland and I don't think we even decided to run them as part of our gallery on Inside the Shell.

Like the Boston College women's game I approach Greg Fiume and asked for permission to shoot the player intros and team huddle for the final home game. Greg agreed and I took my position close to the perimeter during the player intros. I put my camera to the ground while I shot at roughly 20mm to capture the bench while the spotlight shone down on them.

Afterwards I was really happy with how the photos came out. I tried to stay as close to the out-of-bounds line as possible so that I didn't interfere with the spotlights or TV and that worked out pretty well.

As usual I shot most of the first half from up the students section. To my surprise Coach Gary Williams played Braxton Dupree for several minutes and during that time I captured a dunk by the sophomore. Braxton began the season as a young-and-hopeful starter but was unfortunately relegated to bench warmer and didn't serve playing time in several in-conference games. His unexpected re-appearance was very interesting from a domain perspective and his dunk made for a great photographic capture. Unfortunately I think that the impact of my capture of his dunk was lost because he only played a couple of minutes and the Terps lost the game. However, had the Terps won and had Braxton played more minutes the photo might've been a headliner. Funny how that happens ... same photo but just different circumstances.


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