We’re at the half of a very close game for the Terps, who are trailing 36-30 against Pittsburgh. Gritty overall play has been undermined by sloppiness with the ball, because while the Terps arguably playing evenly with Pitt, they’re not holding onto all their possessions. Let’s get some analysis going:
Maryland is winning the battle on the boards, buy they need to win the TO battle.
It’s evident that part of this game is going to be won on the boards, but make no mistake about it, if Maryland can’t hold onto the ball then they aren’t winning. Pitt is dominating in transition and has scored 13 points off turnovers already. Roddy Peters has shown some freshman mistakes on the road with his dribbling and decision making which has really hurt the Terps, but it’s really everyone that contributed to their eight first half turnovers.
That said, Maryland was doing great until they started turning the ball over. When they weren’t distracted by that, they were doing a great job rebounding and swarming to the ball, and are winning the rebounding battle 19-13. Jonathan Graham has four already, and it seems like everyone wants to get involved.
Maryland really needs Jake Layman to start doing something
Layman hasn’t hit a shot yet from the floor, and Pitt has done a great job hedging him off screens to prevent pull ups. Still, Layman needs to keep moving off the ball and find a way to get involved because the Terps need him to be good this game. A road game and your second best scorer has zero first half points? Unacceptable.
I don’t want to even buy into the nickname “Cupcake Jake” (because I think it’s false), but he’s giving the doubters ammo right now.
Can the benches keep it going?
Both teams are considered deep squads, and Pitt has 15 points off the bench to the Terps 11. You have to wonder if both teams can keep up that kind of production, because if they can, it might mean the starters get more rest down the stretch. After all, you want your starters out on the floor during crunch time, and whoever has the more fresh group might come out on top.