Takeaways From Maryland/Purdue


Jan 10, 2015; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Maryland Terrapins guard/forward Jake Layman (10) jumps up or a shot over Purdue Boilermakers center A.J. Hammons (20) during the first half of the game at Mackey Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

After dropping a tough road game against Illinois on Wednesday, Maryland rebounded with a hard-fought 69-60 win over Purdue on Saturday to move to 2-1 in the Big Ten. With Rutgers and Michigan State on deck at home this week, coming away with a 1-1 road split was a solid outcome for the Terrapins. Here are some takeaways from Saturday’s victory:

  • Shut down Purdue bigs – Heading into Saturday’s game, much of the talk was about how Maryland was going to be able to handle Purdue’s talented bigs. In fairly limited minutes due to foul trouble, A.J. Hammons and Issac Haas combined for 12 points and 13 rebounds. With 12:00 remaining in the second half, Haas committed his third personal foul followed by another just 14 seconds later. Hammons committed his foruth foul with 10:54 left, so the Boilermakers were forced to play the bulk of the rest of the game without their top two big men. In that time, Maryland’s bigs were able to take advantage of the situation. Forwards Jake Layman and Michal Cekovsky were able to show some nice post moves in the absence of Haas and Hammons. Even when Purdue’s dynamic duo was in the game, the Terps didn’t shy away from taking the ball to the rim.
  • Strong effort from Pack – Senior guard Richaud Pack had a different role against Purdue. Coach Mark Turgeon elected to go in a different direction in the backcourt with freshman Jared Nickens drawing the start over Pack. It seemed to work wonders as Pack provided an offensive spark off the bench for the Terps with 11 points. Pack netted eight of his 11 points in the second half when Maryland really needed the offense to step up. The North Carolina A&T transfer has been a pleasant surprise this season as he has proved that he can do a little bit of everything. On a team that’s very young, having a guard in your backcourt with that veteran presence is a huge asset.
  • Maryland bigs disappoint – It was definitely a day to forget for Maryland’s true post players. Center Damonte Dodd picked up his first two personal fouls in the first 54 seconds of the game, and only ended up playing two minutes the entire game. Dodd has been a model consistency for the Terps so far this season, but had a performance reminiscient of his freshman campaign against the Boilermakers. Forward Michal Cekosvsky made a few nice moves in the post, but only ended up with four points and zero rebounds. Forward Evan Smotrycz, still recovering from his foot injury, struggled as he only had two points and five rebounds in 21 minutes. He had a few lapses on the defensive end and allowed Purdue to get a few easy baskets. With teams like Rutgers and Michigan State on deck, Maryland’s post play will have to be better than what it was against Purdue.
  • Wiley having success – When guard Dion Wiley committed to play for the Terps, many believed that all he could offer was his three-point shooting ability. Instead, Wiley has shown his ability to put the ball on the floor at times. While he may not always make the most sound decisions, the Potomac product can be effective in the lane. Out of his three made field goals against the Boilermakers, only one was beyond the arc. Wiley was also able to connect on a pair of free throws. If Wiley is able to excel when being chased off the three-point line, he could be an extremely dangerous player in the Big Ten.