At the beginning of the season, it was unknown exactly how much time Jaylen Brantley would see.
After 10 games, it’s clear that Brantley is a very important piece in Maryland’s backcourt.
Aside from the Saint Mary’s College (Md.) game, Brantley hadn’t been much of a producer up over the first month of the season. He had played double-digit minutes in every game except one (Kansas State) and scored no more than six points (Stony Brook).
However, with Melo Trimble struggling to score against Oklahoma State this past Saturday, Brantley stepped up when the Terrapins needed him the most.
In a season-high 22 minutes, the Springfield, Mass. native scored 12 points and grabbed a pair of rebounds in a 71-70 Maryland win. He ended up being the second-leading scorer behind Trimble (13).
Brantley scored five of those points in the first half, including a key three-pointer that tied the game at 13.
Following an Oklahoma State miss at the rim with 12:16 left in the first half, Anthony Cowan pushed the ball up the floor and found Dion Wiley on the wing. Wiley spotted a wide-open Brantley across the court and Brantley preceded to spot up and make the three.
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That was Brantley’s lone make from beyond the arc against the Cowboys.
Brantley certainly wasn’t done making an impact as he had even greater success on Wednesday against Howard.
The junior guard tied a career-high 14 points in addition to three rebounds and two assists. Brantley also connected on four of his eight attempts from three.
Brantley splashed home a pair of shots from beyond the arc during the first half of Wednesday’s contest. Those shots were huge because the game was very close at that point.
Upon entering the game for the first time, the Maryland guard did miss his first attempt from long-range. However, Brantley would rebound to make four of his next seven three-point shots.
With 10:25 left in the opening half, Jared Nickens tossed the ball to Ivan Bender in the painted area. When the Bison defense swarmed towards the basketball, Bender gave it up to Brantley beyond the arc and Brantley was able to drill a wide-open three.
The shot gave Maryland a 16-10 lead at the time.
Brantley’s contributions weren’t needed nearly as much in the second half. However, his six points in the second stanza did come from three-point range.
It was always clear that the Terps were going to have a healthy stable of guards. That was always going to be the strength prior to the season.
If Brantley is able to continue to provide offense off the bench, Maryland may be even more dangerous than many originally thought.