Duke did Duke, and Maryland did Maryland. At the end of the day, the Blue Devils are just 18 points better than the Terps.
Maryland didn’t even play incredibly poor on defense – yes, there were lapses, but Duke is simply the best in the country at creating shots. The Blue Devils shot an unbelievable 52.6% from the floor, including 10-23 from deep, compared to 40% and 2-9 for the Terps. Ultimately, this Terps’ team does not have the offensive fire power to compete with teams like this when they’re on, like Duke was tonight. All that adds up to an 80-62 Duke victory.
Really, though, what is there to say? The Terps need a lot, a lot, to happen in order to make the tournament. Going undefeated for the rest of the regular season would be one way, although an away date at Chapel Hill stands firmly in the way, and going to at least the semifinals of the ACC Tourney would be nice, too. All they can do, all they can ever do, is just go out and try to win all of their games, and see how the pieces fall around them.
As much as I can’t stand the man, Kyle Singler is one damn good basketball player. He finished as the leading scorer (with 22 points), but his ability to score when guarded perfectly (either by Dino or by Hawk), was humbling, to say the least. Nolan Smith put up a quiet 21 (comparatively), and Seth Curry and Andre Dawkins hit some big threes off the bench.
Meanwhile, major progress on the free throw front. Jordan Williams, who finished with 20 and 10, for what it’s worth, shot 12 of 16 from the free throw line, and the rest of the team was 8 of 11. Not bad, Terps, not bad at all.
Ultimately, most of this team’s problems are solved by Nick Faust next year. They still need a big man to replace Dino Gregory (unless James Padgett makes a miraculous step forward in his development), which could come in the form of Desmond Hubert, Greg Whittington, Eugene McCrory, or Wally Judge (more on that tomorrow), but Faust is the outside threat this team so desperately needs.
I’m exhausted. That was a tough game to stomach. Maryland’s next game is this Saturday against Wake, which will hopefully be a walkover. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 PM ET.