After seeing a game slip away in double overtime against Clemson, the Maryland Terrapins rebounded with a convincing 64-47 victory over Virginia Tech. Aside from the Charles Mitchell situation, there were a few things to be positive about after the win.
1.) Dez Wells is a second half player – In a good amount of ACC games this season, Wells has a miserable first half. However, the Raleigh native seems to always show up when it matters in the second half. Wells scored nearly half of his points in the second stanza, including a huge three-point play just 13 seconds into the half. Even in close losses, Wells usually isn’t to blame. For example, if Wells doesn’t explode in the second half against Duke, Maryland doesn’t have a chance to tie the game at the buzzer. Down the stretch, Wells is going to be the Terps most important player if they want to make a run at the ACC tournament title.
2.) The Terps can shoot the basketball – We know all about Maryland’s deficiencies all over the court. One problem the Terps didn’t have against the Hokies was their shooting from beyond the arc. While Maryland only shot 31.3 percent (10-of-32) from the outside, the success was there. It showed an aggressiveness that has been lacking from the team throughout points of the season. The Terps started off the game hitting three of their first six shots from beyond the arc. Forward Evan Smotrycz built on his strong performance against Clemson as he connected on his first two shots from beyond the three-point line. Maryland had four players hit multiple threes, including guard/forward Jake Layman draining four of his nine long-range attempts.
3.) Maryland excels at forcing turnovers – Turnovers and the Terps seem to go hand-in-hand. However, it’s usually Maryland turning the basketball over, but it was quite the contrary on Tuesday night. The Terps forced 17 Hokie turnovers and it was clear that they were able to dial up the defensive pressure and make plays on the defensive end. In their prior win against Wake Forest, Maryland forced 18 Demon Deacon turnovers. It’s relatively simple: get turnovers and it usually translates to victories. The Terps are a team that can get out and run with the best of them. We’ve seen it several times when guys like Wells and guard Nick Faust get out on the fast break. If you get these guys in transition, there’s few better at finishing plays.