The University of Maryland Terrapins will return to College Park, winners of the Paradise Jam; having defeated Providence 56-52 in the Final.
(Discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
What did we see?
1) This was a game the Terps were in complete control of over the first 30 minutes or so, and tried to give away over the last 10 minutes. Ultimately though, my main takeaways are that when the game got close at the end – MD came up with the plays necessary to win. Most importantly, MD is leaving the Virgin Islands with 3 wins overall. The wins over Northern Iowa last night, and Providence tonight have a chance to help MD’s resume come March.
2) Maryland came out with a strong defensive effort in the first 20 minutes, going to half-time with a 33-21 lead. In that first half, Providence was just 7 of 30 (23.3%) from the floor. That defensive effort continued into the 2nd half, with Providence held without a point in the first 4 1/2 minutes after the break. For the game, Providence shot just 27%.
3) The Terps had a 19 point lead with 12:30 left. By the TV time out a minute later, it was down to a 14 point lead. With 9:34 left it was 44-36. With 8:41 left, the lead was down to 7. During those 4+ minutes, Maryland was held scoreless. The Terps were not attacking the basket, and were settling for jumpers. With 3:11 left, the lead was down to 3 points. Maryland was held to just 22 points in the 2nd half.
4) Maryland has to do a better job of getting to the foul line, and converting once there. The Terps were 10 of 18 from the charity stripe.
5) With reason, Coach Turgeon was pleased with the rebounding effort of the Terrapins tonight. On the glass, MD had a 45-38 edge.
6) Peters came off the bench again tonight, and was doing a good job of getting consistent penetration deep in the lane. Two turnovers late in the 1st half unfortunately sent him back to the bench.
7) Like last night, the Terrapins did a good job of limiting the turnovers, finishing with 11 overall.
8) Playing their 3rd game in 4 days, Coach Turgeon went to the bench early as he attempted to keep legs fresh. Without Allen, this is still a thin team at times.
8a) Ram air-balled his lone shot of the 1st half, but he also had 3 steals and 2 boards in the first 20 minutes. His pesky perimeter defense was a help. He finished with 3 points, 3 boards, and those 3 steals.
9) Cleare started the game with a basket, and ended the first half with 7 points, and 3 boards. In the 2nd half, he had zero points, and 1 board. Still looking for consistency game-to-game, and in-game as well.
10) Wells had 4 quick points in the opening minute plus, but picked up 2 fouls with 10 minutes left in the half. That had him chained to bench for most of the rest of the half. Wells ended MD’s 2nd half scoreless streak, with a basket out of a timeout with 7:44 left. He followed that with a floater, with 6:40 left. With just over a minute left, he scored again. He then hit 2 important FT’s in the last 30 seconds. Well finished with 13 points, 5 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block. He was named the Tournament’s MVP.
11) Smotrycz had 7 points and 5 boards in the 1st half. Also had 2 assists, with the offense often running through him. He had Maryland’s first two baskets of the 2nd half, extending the Terps lead to 17. His play fell off some in the 2nd half, looking like he had tired legs. However, he picked things up when MD needed it most. He made a smart defensive play with 2 minutes left, and found Mitchell for a layup seconds later. Smotrycz finished with 13 points, 11 boards, and 3 assists. Smotrycz joined Wells on the All-Tournament Team.
12) Mitchell finished with 9 points and 3 boards. Struggling with his FT shooting on the year, Mitchell missed a 1&1 with under a minute left.
13) Layman labored through the game tonight. Terps Radio Analyst Chris Knoche stated he has been dealing with sore knees. Early in the 2nd half it appeared he had strained a hamstring. Didn’t seem to bother him, as he made an athletic move across the lane to extend the lead to 17 (40-23). Maryland’s offense really looks limited when Layman is off like he was tonight. Layman was just 2 of 10 from the floor, finishing with 6 points, 6 boards, and 2 blocks.
14) It was a rough looking game for Faust, as he has no offense going tonight (1 for 8). The best way he can help the Terps is by being MD’s defensive stopper, and getting boards (which he has). He has to stop taking so many jumpers. Faust was charged with his 4th personal with 1:32 left, leading to a 4 point lay. Knoche said it was a horrible call.
15) I like that Maryland can win in a variety of ways, and has a number of players they can get contributions from. Providence is not a great team, but they appear to be a good team. Getting the neutral court win, was important.
16) Coach Turgeon was pleased in the post-game, with his primary critique being that MD needs to get more scoring from the post.