November 20, 2018

Maryland Basketball: Terps handle Princeton in first appearance in Baltimore since 1999

With finals week over and an end to the fall semester, the Maryland Terrapins traveled to Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore to compete for the first time this century. In a game that was meant to help recruiting in the area, the Terps faced off against the spread offense from the Princeton Tigers. After a scare early, Maryland outlasted the Tigers with a strong second half to earn a 82-61 victory. The nullification of the Princeton offense will serve as a good learning tool for the Terps if they see a similar style of play in the NCAA tournament.

Tigers live up the Princeton offense with hot shooting early

The Princeton offense is all about back door cuts for easy layups and shooting the ball lights out from beyond the arc. Maryland saw a little of the former and a lot of the latter early. Less than 14 minutes into the game the Tigers had already drained seven 3-pointers, on 12 attempts, many of which were contested. Princeton scored 21 of their first 25 points via the 3 ball and held a six point advantage with 6:36 remaining in the first half.

Maryland fights back with some 3-point shooting of their own

It was only a matter of time before Princeton went cold from the field, and Maryland made sure they took advantage of it. During a five minute stretch near the end of the half, the Tigers were held to a single field goal as they went cold from the floor. After missing a couple open corner 3’s, Jake Layman got Maryland going by attacking the rim for a three-point play. Jared Nickens, the Terps leader in 3-point makes, hit a highly contested shot which started a string of three Maryland deep balls in less than two minutes. Such would spurt a 16-2 run that would allow for the Terrapins to hold a 35-31 advantage at intermission.

(Photo by: Mitch Stringer/ USA TODAY)

(Photo by: Mitch Stringer/ USA TODAY)

Jake Layman’s roller coaster season continue, tonight was a peak

Jake Layman has only reached double-digit scoring once over Maryland’s past six games and has only had more than five made field goals twice this season. Today was the third for the Wrentham, MA native as he seemed to like to shoot in Royal Farms Arena. Layman finished with a season high 19 points, including four 3-pointers, 8 rebounds, and great defense by using his length and quickness. Like his AAU counterpart, see below, Layman’s confidence is high and that is exactly what Maryland needs right now.

Melo Trimble continues to understand his role: part-time scorer, part-time dime machine

The sophomore out of Upper Marlboro understands that the team around him this year is much more talented than last season. He also understands that he is not required to have scoring be his number one option. When Trimble believes his team needs it he can turn it on as he has done on the book stage against Georgetown, North Carolina, and Connecticut. Today Trimble had double-digit assists for the second time this season after having a season-high of just eight last year. As this team continues to see their chemistry grow, double-digit assists from Trimble can be an every game occurrence and will also do wonders for his draft stock.

Jaylen Brantley gaining the trust of Mark Turgeon

When Dion Wiley tore his meniscus, the fifth year head coach was worried about his backup guard position. Turgeon knew early in the year that it would mean counting on the junior college transfer and former AAU teammate of Layman because as good as Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon are, 35 or more minutes per game is troublesome come March. With conference play within weeks, Jaylen Brantley put on a show for his coach by dropping 14 points on just seven field goal attempts. In 12 minutes of work, Brantley gained much needed confidence with two corner 3-pointers before putting on a show with a behind-the-back, up-and-under layup to cap a terrific night off. Going forward, Turgeon will strategically mange his starting guards minutes and will be able to sit a little easier on the sidelines with his transfer guard running the show.

Maryland will return home to Xfinity Center to take on Marshall on Sunday, December 27th at 4 PM, another long break between games for the Terps.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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  1. […] final exams and the holiday break, the Maryland Terrapins played one game in a two week span. Mark Turgeon was frank that both practices held yesterday, Saturday, were not […]

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