November 20, 2017

Maryland Basketball: Terps survive the Jackrabbits and advance to Round of 32 for the second year in a row

The Maryland Terrapins would have probably been disappointed with a five-seed to start the year, but it is time to forget about the past and do your best and surviving and advancing. Seeding clearly does not matter in March as the No. 2 Michigan State Spartans lost to No. 15 Middle Tennessee in embarrassing fashion. Mark Turgeon said prior to the game that if the Terps lose it will not be because they overlooked the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.

The Terrapins came out ready to play in the first half by shutting down the Jackrabbits on the defensive end. With an 18 point lead with 8:49 to play, it looked like Maryland would easily survive the 5-12 upset scare that had already claimed Baylor and Purdue yesterday. But in typical fashion the NBA talented squad was unable to put their foot on South Dakota State’s throats and allowed them a chance to force the game into overtime. A end of game turnover saved the Terps in the first round of the NCAA tournament, again, as Maryland advances with a 79-74 victory.

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Maryland Basketball: Terps shoot lights out from deep to pound Illinois and send Seniors out on top

(Photo by: @TerrapinHoops)

(Photo by: @TerrapinHoops)

The Maryland Terrapins are clearly not playing their best basketball; luckily they have a couple of short weeks to try and get back on track. After losing to Purdue on the road, their third loss in the past four games, bracketologist Joe Lunardi has dropped the Terps to a four seed, a would be huge disappointment given the pre-season hype. Following an emotional senior day presentation for starters Jake Layman and Rasheed Sulaimon as well as reserves Varun Ram and Trevor Anzmann it was pedal to the metal for Maryland. The Terps lead for the entire game, made a season-high 14 3-pointers, and saw all four of their seniors get playing time. The 81-55 victory was a “fun night” for the Terps according to their head coach in what could be a taste of what is to come.

With Diamond Stone in foul trouble, Mark Turgeon opted to go small

The highly touted freshman big only played nine minutes in the first half and sat the final five minutes after picking up his second foul. Instead of Damonte Dodd taking over as the Terps center, Turgeon opted to go small. Robert Carter Jr. slid to the rim protector position, while Layman moved to his future NBA position as a stretch-four power forward. With Jared Nickens returning back to non-conference form by hitting a couple 3-pointers, Maryland’s offense became more efficient. Turgeon continued to do the same in the second half, which clearly allowed more driving room from guards into the paint.

Putting their foot on Illinois’ throat to start the second half ended things early

As a part of the 3-point festivities, Maryland had a stretch where they came away with three triples after three possessions. Trimble started things off, Layman hit one after grabbing an offensive rebound, and then Nickens continued to look like his old self by burying one from deep to force an Illinois timeout. Maryland led by double digits the rest of the way. In a year where Maryland as narrowly escaped with victories against inferior teams, it was good to see them take care of business on their home floor. Turgeon explicitly credited Terp Nation, “I want to thank the fans” for the one-loss home record in back-to-back seasons.

Terps return to form from beyond the arc with best performance of the year

For only the second time during conference play Maryland shot better than 50 percent from 3-point range. With the recent struggles of Nickens and Melo Trimble, the Terps have had to rely on their defense to win games. Today was a completely different story as the home team drained a season-high 14 shots from the bonus-sphere. Nickens tied his season-high with four 3-pointers as he was freed up with cross court passes when Maryland bigs were doubled.

Jake Layman “stuck with” Maryland making him one of Turgeon’s favorites

When the Wrentham, Massachusetts native signed with the Terps nearly five years ago, Mark Turgeon frankly admitted that the team was not very good at the time. Although it is not right to have favorites, “Jake’s one of my all-time favorites … because he stuck with me” Turgeon revealed after the game. “Most proud of his development as a player … he’s become a more complete player” Turgeon elaborated on what he thinks is a first-round pick. Nickens told the stretch-four that he loved him after his final home game of the year. Layman did not call an 18 point, 7 rebound, and 3 assist game the story book ending, but it is as close of one as you are going to get. Going forward, his versatility to play power forward might be the key to the Terps making a deep run in the NCAA tournament.

How many of the Terps played their last game at Xfinity?

Jake Layman, Rasheed Sulaimon, and Varun Ram are all out of Division-I eligibility and obviously will not step onto the Xfinity hardwood next season. The next question is how many out of Melo Trimble, Diamond Stone, and Robert Carter Jr. will be lost to the NBA draft. The entire starting five lineup have the potential to be first round picks and the latter three are probably more likely than not to go pro. As Trimble came off the court for possibly the final time, students chanted “one more year.” I doubt any of the three have decided their future already because a lot of the way this season ends might affect their decisions.

Maryland will finish their 2015-16 regular season by traveling to Bloomington to face the Big Ten regular season champion Indiana Hoosiers. The Terps have already clinched a double-bye in the conference tournament next week but can help their seeding with a road victory against a Top 25 school.

Maryland Basketball: Terps respond to first conference loss by blowing out Buckeyes

Fresh off their first loss in over a month, since Dec. 1 against UNC, the Maryland Terrapins looked to respond in the comfortable confines of Xfinity Center. Since the change in name from Comcast in July 2014, the Terps are a whopping 29-1 in friendly territory. Mark Turgeon and company were looking at this as a “must-win” game, as the tournament committee judges heavily on back-to-back losses.

Maryland got it done on both ends of the floor easily to win their ninth straight game following a loss. When the starters left the game the Terps were up 91-47, hitting two out of three shots from the field. The Terrapins hit the century mark for the first time in a conference game since 2002 vs. Virginia on their way to demolishing Ohio State, 100-65.

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Maryland Basketball: Terps beat Rutgers in impressive fashion, but greater concern for Melo Trimble

The Maryland Terrapins nearly had a let down to begin Big Ten conference play against the Penn State Nittany Lions and responded with their best game of the year against dark horse Northwestern. Although Rutgers is on their way of reaching double-digit defeats, 6-9 on the year, Mark Turgeon was not underestimating the opponent at hand. The Scarlet Knights played Maryland close last year and have an NBA experienced coach in Eddie Jordan, former Washington Wizards head man.

No matter what Rutgers threw at the Terps, the third ranked team in the country methodically countered it. Maryland led from coast-to-coast on their way to a 88-63 blowout victory. Maryland has their first 3-0 start in conference play since the year Gary Williams brought home a national championship in 2002.

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Maryland Basketball: Five Takeaways of Terps Season Opening Victory over Mount St. Mary’s

{Photo by: UMTerps)

{Photo by: UMTerps)

The highly anticipated Maryland Terrapins basketball season has finally started! The #3 ranked team in the country, their highest ranking since after winning the national championship, took care of business against Northeast Conference favorite Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers. After a sloppy first half, Maryland cruised in the second half to a 80-56 victory against a respectable opponent.

Turnovers continue to be a concern

In the Terps lone exhibition game of the year, Maryland committed 20 turnovers as they looked to try and go for the home run ball too many times. Early on, the Terps were falling into bad habits caused by poor entry passes into the post where Mount St. Mary’s fronted most of Maryland’s bigs. After starting the game with assist-to-turnover ratio of 6 to 8, Mark Turgeon seemed to make a good correction midway through the first half. The Terps would go on to the finish the game with a 9 to 6 ratio, in which two of the turnovers were committed by emergency point guard Varun RamRobert Carter led the team with 4 turnovers for the Maryland, again much of them coming off of big to big passes to the post. The three ball handlers of Melo TrimbleRasheed Sulaimon, and Jaylen Brantley combined for a mere 4 miscues in 69 minutes of play.

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Maryland Terrapins 2015-16 Season Position Outlook: Point Guard

(Photo by: AP Photo)

(Photo by: AP Photo)

In what will be a special season for the Maryland Terrapins basketball team, how great they really are will likely start and stop with point guard Melo Trimble who is coming off of a historic and record breaking freshman year. One might think that Trimble will have a difficult time trying to improve on a season where he averaged 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists per game, but with more weapons, greater understanding of the game, and a better shaped body that should be no problem at all. He was not picked to be the Big Ten player of the year for nothing.

During the Terps Media Day, Mark Turgeon has mentioned that last year Trimble was asked to take on more of a scoring load while this year he will be needed to be more of a traditional point guard as a distributor. No doubt will Trimble be one of the Terrapins primary scoring option because his 41.2 percent shooting percentage from beyond the arc and knack of getting to the free throw line, nearly seven free throws attempted per game, is unmatched.

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