Well, that fell apart very quickly. Maryland played Duke really close until the end, and it was a one point game well into the second half. The Terps lost their composure, however, and were unable to seal the deal as they fell to Duke, 87-71.
Jordan Williams had 16 points with 16 rebounds (seven offensive), Cliff Tucker scored 12 off the bench, and Dino Gregory and Pe’Shon Howard each scored 10 as Maryland lost to the Blue Devils for the third time this year.
Terrell Stoglin had an awful game, making only two of his ten shots on the night, scoring six points and committing five turnovers.
Nolan Smith was hurt during the game, which I’m sure you’ll hear about a lot, but the Blue Devils actually played better without him. Kyle Singler scored 29 points with nine rebounds, and Seth Curry, Ryan Kelly, and the Plumlee brothers each chipped in with double digits to carry Duke into the next round of the ACC tournament.
This all but officially knocks Maryland out of the NCAA tournament, and now it’s time to look to the NIT, and to next year.
As I said on Twitter, I would say it was a fun season, but it really wasn’t. I am very excited for next year, though Maryland will have four quality guards in Pe’Shon, Stoglin, Nick Faust, and Sterling Gibbs and a player of the year candidate in Jordan. If either Mosley or Breunig can prove that they can play on the big stage, you’ve got a team that can go fairly far in the tournament. Hell, James Padgett has even come on strong as of late. The Terps will be a dark horse in the ACC next year, and it’s going to be an exciting team to watch.
Gary Williams has only really struggled in one area of coaching, and that’s recruiting. He’s one of the best game planners around and has a reputation for getting the best out of his players. Maybe the additions of Faust, Gibbs and Breunig will change that first perception.