The Maryland basketball team was been dealing with injuries in the frontcourt all season.
With Michal Cekovsky on the shelf once again, the Terrapins got key performances from the likes of Damonte Dodd and Justin Jackson against Indiana on Tuesday evening.
After a spectacular performance against Michigan on Saturday, Dodd was a model of versatility. The Eastern Shore native scored six points, grabbed six rebounds, blocked six shots, and only committed one turnover.
Dodd really was a force on the defensive end throughout the night.
His six blocks tied a career-high and continued his stellar level of play. Staying out of foul trouble was also a huge feather in Dodd’s cap throughout the evening.
Dodd looked to be on point very early in the game.
With 16:30 left in the first half, Dodd displayed a great example of help defense. Indiana’s OG Anunoby ended up receiving a pass right under the basket and Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter both swiped at the basketball to try and alter Anunoby’s shot or knock the ball away.
However, both missed and Anunbody hoisted up a shot that was rejected by Dodd right at the rim as Dodd rotated over. Dodd went on to record four of his six blocks in the first half.
Aside from the Nebraska game, Dodd has been sensational since returning from a sprained MCL. He scored 15 points against Michigan in a game that the Terps definitely needed to have after the loss to the Cornhuskers.
Maryland’s freshmen have been a huge part of the team’s success so far this season. Jackson has proved to be wise beyond his years when it comes to the collegiate game.
Jackson had another strong outing against the Hoosiers as he scored 11 points despite only making four shots. The East York, Ontario native also finished with six rebounds and a pair of blocks.
Despite only being 6’7, coach Mark Turgeon is able to depend on Jackson to defend the paint.
For example, Jackson was able to control the glass when he got position. Four of his six rebounds came on the defensive end.
Jackson has tremendous length, but also can shoot the ball very well on the offensive end.
On Tuesday, Jackson got Maryland going early from beyond the arc.
Just 2:21 into the game, Melo Trimble thought about driving to the basketball, but was able to draw the defense off the three-point line. Indiana’s Thomas Bryant thought about closing out on Jackson before he even received the pass from Trimble.
Instead, Bryant stayed put at the top of the key and didn’t put a hand up until the last moment. Jackson had already let his shot go from the wing and it went down.
Dodd and Jackson played very well on both ends of the floor against the Hoosiers. Obviously, Dodd’s offensive effort wasn’t quite what it was against the Wolverines.
However, Dodd’s value in rim protection can’t be overstated. The senior center is averaging 2.5 blocks per contest, which would be good for third in the Big Ten, but Dodd has only played 10 games this season, so he doesn’t qualify.
Jackson has been a pleasant surprise and proved to be a very complete player. He’s certainly been a player that Turgeon can count on at both ends of the floor.
If the Terps can continue to get this type of production from their frontcourt, it’ll look even better when Cekovsky returns to the lineup.