The Maryland basketball team had several things not go in their favor on Sunday.
However, one of the most glaring was not getting to the free throw line.
Indiana playing downright smothering defense at times during Sunday’s game, which made life a whole lot harder for Maryland. On the other hand, the Terrapins only managed to attempt eight free throws against the Hoosiers.
Forward Robert Carter was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line and center Diamond Stone connected on two of his four attempts. Those were the only two Terps that managed to make their ways to the charity stripe.
Guard Melo Trimble has played better over the last two games. However, Trimble only attempted three free throws against Illinois and zero against Indiana.
When he’s at the top of his game, Trimble is a very talented perimeter shooter along with being able to put it on the deck. With that being said, drawing fouls and getting to the line are also a huge part of Trimble’s game.
If you look at his statistics from the 2014-15 season, Trimble attempted 240 free throws and got to the line with incredible regularity. As a sophomore, the former Bishop O’Connell (Va.) star only shot 144 free throws and only shot double-digit times once over the past five games.
While Trimble shot the basketball at a decent clip against the Hoosiers, he still should’ve elected to drive to the rim more frequently. Given how physical Indiana is on the interior, Trimble almost certainly could’ve drew a few foul calls.
As crafty as Trimble is at drawing fouls, he wasn’t the only Terp that wasn’t as aggressive as he could’ve been.
Sulaimon had one of the most miserable games of his Maryland career on Sunday as he only made two of his six shots. The former Duke guard also seemed to make mental errors that he usually doesn’t make.
If you’re a shooter that is struggling with his shot, putting the ball on the floor can sometimes be the best medicine. Sulaimon just seemed to be all out of sorts offensively and maybe a little unsure of himself.
With 5:45 left in the game, Sulaimon received the ball on the perimeter and only had Troy Williams in front of him. The entire left side of the lane was completely open, but Sulaimon elected to dribble to the other side of the arc and attempt a contested three-pointer.
Now Stone did end up securing the offensive rebound and Carter ultimately made a layup at the end of the possession. However, Sulaimon could’ve drove to the basket and gotten two points the easy way and maybe even converted a layup plus a foul.
Finally with 4:12 left in the game, Sulaimon caught an inbounds pass from Layman in the corner and drove to the basket. He converted at the rim, but it was almost too little too late for Maryland as the Terps were trailing by 13 points.
Layman had similar shot selection to Sulaimon, but it may have had something to do with his early success against Indiana. On his first two shots, Layman splashed home a pair of three-pointers that allowed Maryland to jump to an early 10-4 lead.
With 4:20 left in the first half, Layman received the ball in the corner and clearly made the decision to put it on the floor. Despite only having Collin Hartman in his path, Layman took a few and let go of a stepback jump shot that wouldn’t go down.
Layman attempted five of his seven shots from beyond the arc. On his only other two-point field goal attempt, Layman did establish post position against Williams, but settled for a left-handed hook shot that wouldn’t go.
Layman wasn’t as bad a culprit as Sulaimon and Trimble, but he could’ve made a few different decisions.
If Maryland wants to make some noise in the Big Ten and even the NCAA Tournament, they are going to have to be more efficient with their shot selection. While the Terps is one of the more efficient teams from beyond the arc (36.7 percent), you still can’t leave games to chance by launch 20-25 three-pointers in the postseason.
If Trimble alone can knife his way into the lane more often, Maryland can be very dangerous. If he and his teammates settle for jump shots, they could be headed back to College Park much earlier than expected.