What We Learned From Maryland/Georgia Tech

Jan 4, 2014; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins guard Seth Allen (4) runs the offense against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Comcast Center. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

 

  • Maryland is capable of taking care of the basketball. In recent seasons, the Terps have had problems hanging onto the basketball and have played out of control at times. In last season’s monumental upset of Duke in College Park, the Terps coughed up the ball a mind-boggling 26 times. Guards Seth Allen and Dez Wells turned the ball over 14 times just between the two of them. Maryland did the exact opposite on Saturday as they committed a season-low six turnovers and just played fundamentally sound basketball on the offensive end. The Terps made smart passes and seemed to play within themselves. In recent years, guys like guards Nick Faust and Allen have played at a 110 MPH speed and let the game get away from them. Faust may be the biggest culprit of being impatient and not letting the game come to him. However, everyone played smart against Georgia Tech and that’s something positive that Maryland can take as they get further into ACC play.
  • When on, the Terps can really light it up from beyond the arc. Maryland converted 10 of 19 three-point attempts against the Yellow Jackets, which was good for a 52.6 percent clip. Guard/forward Jake Layman started off the three-point barrage with a long-range conversion in the first three minutes. As we’ve seen throughout the year, Layman can be a streaky shooter, but when he’s on, there’s few players in the ACC that can light it up like the Massachusetts native. While Layman only totaled six points, both were early in the game and were from beyond the arc. While Layman shot the ball well from the outside, he wasn’t the only Terp that was feeling it from long range. Faust is playing some of his best basketball of the season as he connected on his first four three-point shots and ended up with 16 points (6-of-8 from the field). As many have seen even dating back to his high school days in Baltimore, Faust can be absolutely lethal when he’s shooting the ball well. He seemed to be in that type of zone on Saturday as he didn’t force shots and looked very comfortable when the ball left his hands. On the season, Faust is only shooting 31.3 percent from beyond the arc, but if he truly has found his stroke, Maryland could be a very dangerous team going forward.
  • The center position is still a revolving door, but Shaquille Cleare got the start against Georgia Tech and turned in a solid performance. From the opening tip onward, Cleare looked more confident and comfortable in the post. On his first shot attempt, the Bahamas native hit a pretty right-handed hook shot. On the first two Maryland possessions, the Terps feed the ball to Cleare in the post. On his second shot attempt, Cleare put the ball on the floor, but did not convert. However, he was able to aggressively secure the rebound and dump the ball off to forward Evan Smotrycz for an easy basket. On the afternoon, Cleare scored eight points and grabbed two rebounds in Saturday’s win. He also hit two of three free-throw attempts, which he has struggled with (55 percent from the line this season) as has the entire Maryland team. While the rebound still aren’t there, Cleare played smarter basketball. On several occassions this year, Cleare commits careless fouls and play too aggressive when he should dial it back. However, the Maryland center only committed one personal foul in 19 minutes. If that type of play can continue, the Terps can feel a little more confident about the center spot.

Topics: ACC, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Maryland Terrapins, Nick Faust, Shaquille Cleare

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