The Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team started their first game of the season off with a bang, (even if it was only an exhibition match). Maryland took down the Catholic Cardinals 84 to 39 after pulling away 44-19 in the first half thanks to a strong performance by sophomore Jake Layman.
Layman had 13 points in the first half, courtesy of three straight 3-pointers, and the Terrapins never really had much of a problem in this tuneup exhibition match. Layman looked considerably more confident than last season, and he was on the court a whole lot more. Anytime he put the ball up, it seemed like the shot would go down. The 6’8 forward also showed off a little bit of a floater, as he connected on one in the lane late in the first half. He finished with 23 points to lead all scorers.
Charles Mitchell looked every bit the low post menace of a year ago, only in much better condition, as he had ten rebounds at halftime. The big man came off the bench to lead all players in rebounds and, surprisingly, was second in shots attempted. Mitchell was just as aggressive as he was last year, but he missed five of his first seven shots despite getting good looks. He went 2-of-3 the rest of the way to finish with ten.
Freshmen Roddy Peters and Damonte Dodd both had big games for the Terrapins, as Peters got considerable minutes at point to finish with five points, two rebounds, and two assists. Dodd, meanwhile, was fantastic in coming off the bench, scoring four points and grabbing seven boards and two blocks. Dodd may end up earning himself minutes with how effective he was protecting the rim.
Transfer Evan Smotrycz, playing his first game in Comcast for the Terps, scored 11 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and dished out four assists. Smotrycz looked active all game, albeit a little more quiet than most fans were expecting. The big man was nonetheless very effective at getting to the foul line, hitting seven of his eight attempts.
No Cardinals players finished with double-figures in points, rebounds, or assists on the year as they were held to under 30% shooting.
In all, a nice tuneup match for a Maryland team that has a much bigger game ahead of them when they take on Connecticut at Barclays this Friday. The team is going to have a lot to look at if you isolate the first five minutes of this game. The Terps did settle down eventually, but they can’t afford to be as careless with the ball as they were in the first few minutes.
We’ll have more analysis coming at you a little later, so stick around.