The University of Maryland fell to 15-13 overall, 7-8 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) with a 57-55 loss to #4 Syracuse.
Down 12 points (49-37) with 7:18 left, the Terrapins rallied in the final minutes. In-bounding the ball with 3.5 seconds remaining, Maryland had a final shot to win the game ended, but Seth Allen’s desperation 3 went off the rim.
(Discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
What did we see?
1) Maryland went to half-time down 8 points (32-24). The Terps were lucky to be that close, with the way they played. We knew it would look ugly at times tonight against the Syracuse zone, but the 1st half was still tough to watch. The Terps were 7 of 22 (32%), including 5 of 14 (36%) from 3 in the 1st half.
1a) If the Terps were going to go on a late-season push towards the Tournament, MD needed to win tonight. The opportunities were there. With the loss, I’m thinking the only way MD can play their way in to March Madness is by winning the ACC Tournament. Even if the Terps had won tonight, the odds against them would have remained long; but it would have made the last 3 ACC Regular Season games that much more interesting. Right now, I’m hoping Maryland can win these last 3 games @Clemson, vs. VaTech, and vs. UVA and enter their last ACCT with some positive vibes. Would be nice to push towards 20 wins, and finish over .500 in ACC play. As frustrating as these recent losses to Duke, and tonight vs. Syracuse have been; they have showed that even this down MD team is capable of competiting against good competition. Make the most of every remaining game, and welcome the Class of 2014 (Trimble, Wiley, Nickens, Reed) to College Park.
1b) Maryland did a great job tonight of getting to the line (27 attempts), but only converted 19 of their shots. One of the reasons MD lost to Duke, was that they gave the Blue Devils too many foul shots. Tonight, they limited Syracuse to just 6 attempts. However, the Orange had 20 more FG attempts than MD tonight. (Syracuse was 24 of 60, while MD was just 14 of 40.)
2) The Terps had 12 turnovers in the 1st 20 minutes with Allen, Wells, and Faust each having 3. Maryland finished with 18 turnovers, Allen leading the way with 5.
3) Faust had a very strong game against Wake, but was not able to follow that up tonight. He was 0 for 6 from the field (including 0 for 3 from 3). He had 5 points (all FT’s), 5 points, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block. What people will remember though, is that with MD down 1 (56-55) and under 10 seconds left – he attacked the basket and missed. There was an opportunity to call a timeout, and get the ball in the hands of one of his better offensive teammates. That’s a hard decision to get past.
4) Wells and Layman were very quiet in the 1st half, combining for just 4 points.
4a) Wells had 2 baskets in the first 3 minutes of the 2nd half. Wells finished with 15 points (4 of 6 from the field), 7 boards, and 2 assists. This pattern of being a ghost in the 1st half, and a weapon in the 2nd half continues. Against a top team like Syracuse, you need a full 40 minute performance from your best overall player. You also need more than 6 attempts.
4b) Layman had 6 points, 6 boards, 2 assists, and a steal. His lone FG of the night came on a 3 with under 5 minutes left. After coming up with a steal, Layman got to the line with a chance to tie the game with 48 seconds left. However, he made just 1 of his 2 attempts. Layman was just 1 of 6 from the field. Again, not good enough production from one of your 2 or 3 best offensive players when you are trying to pull the upset.
5) The primary reason why MD was still in the game at half-time was Allen burying 4 of his 5 shots (all from 3). He finished 6 of 11 (including 6 of 9 from 3) for 22 points. As we mentioned above, Allen did have 5 turnovers. He also had 0 assists. Maryland’s only offense tonight was Allen shooting against the Syracuse zone.
6) The only true PG on the Maryland roster is Peters, and Coach Turgeon has to limit his time because of Peters inability to shoot. Peters is also limited in the half-court. On the positive side, Peters is playing better defense. In the 1st half he did create once against the ‘Cuse zone, and score on a good-looking floater. At the 7 minute mark of the 2nd half, Peters missed 2 FT’s.
7) The only thing that slowed CJ Fair’s nice intermediate game in the 1st half was his 3rd foul.
8) Maryland went to half with a 16-14 edge on the boards. This stayed close throughout, with MD finishing with a 34-32 advantage.
9) Mitchell had a limited 1st half (1 of 3 from the floor), with 2 boards. He finished with just those 2 points (a breakaway dunk), and 4 boards. He was 1 of 4 from the floor. Out of himself, Cleare, and Dodd (Graham did not play); he was the only MD big to score.
9a) Dodd was ahead of Cleare again in the post-rotation, and as mentioned above – Graham did not play.
10) Was Smotrycz fouling out with 6 minutes left part of the reason why MD was able to comeback late? He was 1 of 4 from 3, as his shooting slump continued.
11) Maryland might have sold every seat in the Comcast Center tonight, but there were empty seats all over the place. There is a lot of apathy with the fan-base right now. That’s not good.