The University of Maryland Terrapins will begin their 2013-14 season on Friday against Connecticut in Brooklyn. Today’s 84-39 win vs. Catholic was the Terps lone exhibition game prior to that test vs. the Huskies, and MD’s first opportunity to become more comfortable playing without the injured Seth Allen.
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What did we see?
1) As expected, the starting lineup was Wells, Faust, Layman, Smotrycz, and Cleare.
2) Mitchell, and Peters were the first two reserves off the bench. Dodd, and Ram also saw time. Auslander came off the bench in the 2nd half. Barks, Susskind, and Lipinski got garbage time.
3) MD led 44-19 at the half, winning on the boards 25-8. The Terps were 10 of 12 from the line. After 4 early turnovers to start the game (including 2 on their first two interior passes), MD finished the first half with just 6 turnovers.
4) Smotrycz had a nice board and follow on a Layman miss. I liked seeing that he was willing to attack the basket, and not settle for contested 3′s. He has the ability to put it on the floor. He won’t be a complimentary player, he is going to be one of the focal points of this MD team.
5) Layman got going with a block, followed by back-to-back-to-back 3′s. He then scored on a nice drive, and lay-in. In the 2nd half he got off the floor to finish an alley-oop. He also buried another couple of 3′s. A very confident looking stroke. He’s going to get the chance to consistently put up points.
6) Smotrycz, and Layman on the court together provided good spacing for MD’s offense.
7) Peters has long strides. He did a nice job of finding Mitchell in the middle of the lane. His first basket came on a beautiful drive from the top of the key. In the 2nd half there was another example of him just exploding from mid-court to the basket.
8) Dodd was fairly impressive. Upon entering the game, he scored right away, claiming a rebound and follow on a missed 3 from one of his MD teammates. Great size and bounce. His first basket was followed by a defensive rebound, and a blocked shot. His 2nd basket came on a dunk. He showed enough to believe he will help as part of the rotation right away.
9) There were a few minutes where Cleare and Mitchell were on the court together. They occupied a lot of space in the paint. Mitchell does work on the offensive boards, and has better moves in the post. Cleare was much more active in the 2nd half. You can see the work Cleare put in during the off-season. Much smoother, that much more athletic. He was providing some shot-blocking (which you take with a grain of salt considering the lack of size from Catholic).
10) Ram is going to get some PT as the 4th reserve off the bench.
11) Faust is much thicker. He has really put in time in the weight room. He buried three 3′s today. I’d like to see him use some of his acquired strength to work inside. He has the size to post up smaller defenders.
12) Wells starting MD’s scoring with a drive and pull-up in the paint. His 2nd basket coming off a steal. He knocked down a 3 in the 2nd half. We did not see a ton of him running the offense, though he had a few more opportunities in the 2nd half.
13) Great hustle play in the 2nd half where MD had turned the ball over, and both Wells and Layman raced back to provide blocked shots.