It’s halftime at the New Years eve throw down pitting Maryland against upstart NC Central, and the Terps are up 28-20. Not much offense, but plenty of defense so far and even more Dez Wells. Let’s run down a few thoughts…
- Absolutely love having Seth Allen back on the court, if that wasn’t clear already. Allen hasn’t hit a shot yet, but his three assists and ability to break down a zone defense with subtle moves show why he is important. Allen had one assist to Layman for a three pointer where he very clearly took a simple stutter step towards the seam to draw two defenders toward him, then he dumped the ball off for a wide open shot. It’s the small things that he does on the court which make me most optimistic. Peters is good and all, but he’s still learning the game and the little intricacies that can help him become a better point guard.
- Way too many turnovers for this team so far. Evan Smotrycz is the biggest culprit with three, but it’s clear the zone looks are still a thorn in this team’s side. For the first ten minutes of this game, it looked like Maryland was still trying to figure out the 3-2 and the 1-3-1, which is a slight variation of the previous zones they’ve seen. After that, it looked like they calmed down and were able to push the pace, but at least Turgeon knows what they desperately have to look at next practice.
- Maryland is doing fantastic on the boards, again. They’ve got 26 rebounds so far to the Eagles 16, and you have to like the effort that Jonathan Graham has given. He’s managed to stay out of foul trouble too, which means he’ll be able to provide just as much down the stretch. That was a big concern of mine heading in, that he’d play with almost too much energy. Now it’s not as pressing.
- Finally, Maryland needs to keep Dez Wells going…by giving him some rest. He’s got 10 at the half, but he’s also played 17 minutes of basketball. If Maryland can live without him for a little while, they’ll get even more production out of him in the second half. And with the game close, there is no other person who needs to be fresh and on the court more.