Santa brings Terps coal; What did we see?

The University of Maryland Terrapins fell to 7-5 on the season, dropping a home game vs. Boston University 83-77.

What did we see?

(Discuss this on the BSL Board here.)

1) Selection Sunday is Months away, but Coach Turgeon and Terrapins can already start thinking about next year; because it seems highly unlikely that the Terps will be dancing come March. Coming into today, we believed MD would need 10 wins in Atlantic Coast Conference play (prior to the ACCT) to be in good position to be selected for an at-large birth. After this loss today, MD would probably need to either win 12 ACC Regular Season games, or have 10 ACC Regular Season wins, plus a deep run in the ACCT.

Maybe Allen will return, and everything will come together for the Terps; but that can not be the expectation at this point.

Boston University is a decent team, that has the potential to win the Patriot League and get to the NCAAT themselves; but MD losing to them is an embarrassment regardless. This was a BU team which had lost 3 in-a-row, including losses to Harvard and Norfolk State.

To beat a dead horse, MD’s Out-of-conference resume is very poor. Losing to UConn, and at Ohio State were expected. Losses to Oregon State and George Washington don’t qualify as embarrassing (even if OSU finishes at the bottom of the Pac 12, they still hail from a major conference), but those were games you went into the year expecting to win. Boston University and Tulsa were supposed to be resume builders. Teams where you comfortably win by 10-12 points, and hope they are good enough in their conferences to eventually be Top 100 RPI wins. Losing to a team of that caliber just kills you.

Prior to Allen’s injury there was a lot of excitement about what MD could be capable of this year. A lot of returning players in Year 3 of the Turgeon era. A predicted Top 7 finish in ACC play, the conference predicted by most to be the best in the Country entering the year. The thought was that MD was in good position to return to the NCAAT for the first time since 2010. The MD fans which allowed theirselves to look even further ahead, saw the very strong in-coming recruiting class (Class of ’14), and were thinking aspirations for the program could be high next year in MD’s first year as a member of the Big Ten.

Now? The only thing the Maryland players and Coach Turgeon can concern themselves with is beating Tulsa, and figuring out to salvage something from this season. Pretty discouraging for the program to be in this position before Christmas has even arrived.

2) Maryland got off to a poor start, with just 5 points in the first 7 and a 1/2 minutes of play. The entire first half was a struggle against the BU zone. After rallying to take the lead at 18-17 – MD allowed a 9-0 BU run. At the half, MD was down 10 points (42-32). BU made 47% of their FG attempts in the 1st half, including 7 of their 15 attempts from 3.
2a) As the 2nd half started, you saw MD playing with a higher level of intensity. Part of that was being down at the half, and probably being blistered by Coach Turgeon pretty strongly in the locker-room. What is disappointing, is that the effort could be turned on like a switch like that. You let an opponent play basically uncontested for a 1/2, and surprise – you pay for it.
2b) BU shot 42% for the game, 10 of 26 (38%) from 3, and had 36 attempts from the FT line. 2c) MD shot 48% from the floor, including 6 of 15 from 3.

3) In addition to struggling against the zone, Maryland had 11 turnovers in the 1st half. Maryland finished with 17 turnovers, with Wells and Peters combining for 11.

4) Attempting to build off of his quality outing vs. FAU, Cleare started the game with MD’s first four points. Other than 3 rebounds, that would be the extent of Cleare’s day.

5) In the opening seconds of the game today, Smotrycz turned it over. Wells did a good job racing back to make a play on the defensive end. Wells would hit a 3, ending a 4 and a 1/2 minute scoreless streak for the Terps. Offensively, Wells had just 2 FG attempts in the 1st half. Fouled while scoring, Wells made it a 5 point game with 18 minutes left. Wells finished an oop from Faust to tie the game at 51. A long jumper from Wells gave MD the lead 56-55. Great block from Wells with MD down 68-61. For the game, Wells had 18 points, 9 boards, and an impressive 5 blocks. Wells did a good job of getting to the line today (9 attempts), but the 6 turnovers were crippling.

6) In the 1st half, MD was 5 of 8 from the foul line. 6 of those 8 attempts were from Wells. Just not a good enough job of getting to the line. For the game, MD was just 15 of 26 from the charity stripe.

7) Layman ended a 9-0 BU run, with a 3 to pull MD within 5 (26-21). In the 1st half, Layman had 11 points (including 3 of 4 from 3), but had nothing else on his stat line. With MD trailing 54-51 (with just under 11 minutes left), Layman got to the line. Layman would hit 1 of those 2 attempts for his first point of the 2nd half. Layman missed another FT with 5:30 left. With 3:20 left, Layman again went 1 for 2 at the line. Layman finished with 14 points, and 2 boards. His 3 FT makes, were his only points of the 2nd half.
8) In the 1st half, MD had zero second chance points. Pretty much unexplainable (aside from a lack of effort) when you account for MD’s advantages in talent, and athleticism.

9) At half-time, the Terps had a slight (18-15) advantage on the boards. For the game, MD won on the boards 42-34.

10) Graham had 2 blocks off the bench in the 1st half. Good job finishing 2 nice passes from Peters. Graham finished with 5 points, and those 2 blocks.

11) Maryland’s defensive intensity did seem to increase when Faust entered the game off the bench. Faust had a nice layup to pull MD within 4 (49-45). Faust finished with 10 points, 6 boards, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Good all-around game off the bench, but he was just 3 of 9 from the floor.

12) The 1st half saw Smotrycz’s recent shooting struggles (1 for 7 from the floor) continue – but he did contribute with 7 boards, and 4 assists. Smotrycz had 2 baskets inside in the first 3 minutes of the 2nd half. Beginning to feel it, he hit a baseline jumper to pull MD within 6 (49-43). Following his own miss, Layman went baseline to score and give MD the 58-57 lead. Smotrycz was stripped, and committed a foul with MD down 4 and 6 minutes left. Smotrycz finished with 15 points, 13 boards, 5 assists, and a steal. He was 7 of 14 from the floor overall. Credit to him for continuing to shoot.

13) Peters best play of the 1st half, was as time was expiring; as he raced down the court to score. That just looked more instinctual, and took advantages of his abilities. Would like to see more of that. Nice feed from Peters to Graham, pulling MD within 2 (49-47), and then again to make it 51-49. Great steal and finish from Peters while being fouled with just under 5:30 left. Peters missed his FT though. Peters finished with 8 points, and 7 assists, and the aforementioned 5 turnovers.

14) Blaming the 1st half deficit on the lack of atmosphere and crowd at Comcast would be disingenuous; Maryland trailed because they played poorly. The players did not control what they could control (their effort). Still, playing in-front of thousands of empty seats helps eliminate the intimidation factor a team like BU should face playing a program like MD.

15) Mitchell had his lone basket in the initial 2 minutes of the 2nd half. He’s turning into a ghost. What is going on here behind the scenes? Issue at practice? Something else?

16) After being glued to the bench the last couple of games, Dodd got some time in the 2nd half today. With MD down 6, Dodd missed 2 FT’s with 15 minutes left.

17) Against the smaller BU guards, I was surprised that Ram did not get a chance to harass them more often on the perimeter today.

18) The game was tied at 54 with 9:34 left in the 2nd half. With 3:16 left, BU was up 70-61.

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About the author


Chris Stoner   

Majority Owner

Chris Stoner founded Baltimore Sports and Life in 2009. He has appeared as a radio guest with 1090 WBAL, 105.7 The Fan, ESPN 1300, FOX 1370, WOYK 1350, WKAV 1400, and WNST 1570. You can find Stoner on Twitter @BmoreSportsLife, and you can reach him via email at Chris.Stoner@baltimoresportsandlife.com.


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