The Terps hit the hardwood for the first time this season for an exhibition matchup against Division II Southern New Hampshire. Maryland enters the season ranked #3 in the nation and we were able to see this new and unpolished team on Friday night. As expected, it was an easy win for Maryland with a 91-55 victory with a couple initial thoughts:
1.) The Terps have an interior game for the first time in a long time:
Taking pressure off of Melo Trimble and the rest of the backcourt is 5-star recruit Diamond Stone and Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter Jr. Both made their Maryland debut with Stone tallying 16 points and 5 rebounds and Carter with a double-double: 12 points and 10 rebounds. The past couple of seasons, Maryland has had issues with rebounding the ball and giving opponents second chances. Stone and Carter both possess physical rebounding skills that will help especially in Big Ten play. Maryland’s offense now has some versatility, which is one of the reasons the Terps are ranked so high this season. If the matchup calls for more guard play with driving in the lane or jump shots, the shooters for the Terps are ready and proven. However now, if the matchup requires more posting up near the basket, Maryland finally has the big men that can take care of the ball and have the offensive capabilities to score in the paint.
2.) Share the wealth – A pass first team:
Last season, the Terps were more of a 1 on 1, isolation offense where they were dependent on Dez Wells or Trimble to take over and make shots. In this exhibition matchup, we saw the selflessness of players like Suilamon where it seems Maryland now focuses more on passing the ball to find that perfect shot instead of forcing things. Even Diamond Stone has mentioned that he loves passing the pall and prides himself off of his ability as a big man to pass the ball very well. Many times in the game, someone would have an open shot and would make that one extra pass for an easy basket. This selflessness will go far for Maryland, however we must see if this was simply because of the weaker matchup or not.
3.) Early season sloppiness:
There were many times where Maryland was simply sloppy with the ball, evident by the 23 total turnovers against a Division II school. We must keep in mind that this is the first time this new team has played with each other so the chemistry is not quite there. The Terps have a tough matchup coming up on Nov. 17 with local basketball rival Georgetown. 23 turnovers will not cut it for Maryland against a team like the Hoyas so hopefully this upcoming week of practice and the first regular season game against Mount St. Mary’s will clean up the play. The chemistry will come as the season goes on and we will see the results of this team in time.
Nov. 13 – Mount St. Mary’s @ 7 PM
Nov. 17 – Georgetown @ 9 PM
Nov. 20 – Rider @ 7 PM
Note: All these games are home games at the XFINITY Center