Evanston, Il. (WUSA) - The Northwestern met with their future Big Ten rivals Tuesday night, and the Terps showed the Wildcats they have a lot ground to make up to compete. In a game where Maryland turned the ball over 14 times, they easily toppled Northwestern 77-57.
This was the first big game the Terps played since losing to Kentucky early in the season. The Terps were not favored in this away game, so it only made sense that the key to victory would be coaching. After the young ball club limped in to halftime with a two point lead, they exploded in the second half after halftime adjustments by head coach Mark Turgeon.
The last 20 minutes featured a lot more plays designed to get the ball to projected lottery pick Alex Len and more minutes for James Padgett and Logan Aronhalt. That gave Turgeon another proven post player on the court to capitalize on Len double teams and streaky jump shooter that could kill a zone if he gets hot.
After scoring 28 points in the first half, they ripped the Wildcat defense for 49 in the second. We saw Turgeon stick to a core group, instead of spreading out minutes amongst his ten player rotation. I think he finally knows which guys he needs in certain situations and that means the stock of other players is declining.
Nick Faust - Down
Faust finished the game with 10 points and six rebounds, but at times in the first half seemed to take bad shots looking to get hot. Turgeon has already expressed that he doesn't want Faust playing this way. He's no Terrell Stoglin, but his sometime selfish actions are hurting the team -- and his minutes.
James Padgett - UP
The most overlooked player on the roster is the most consistent one the court. He shot 4 for 5 and had six boards in 27 minutes. He is battling for minutes with two freshmen, but right now he is winning the war.
Logan Aronhalt - Up
He was recruited for his three-point shooting and now he is finally looking like a marksman. His three field goals from beyond the arc tore the Wildcats 1-3-1 zone to shreds.
Charles Mitchell - Down
Still crashes the boards hard, but with Shaq Cleare getting more minutes and Padgett's production, his minutes are dipping.
Jake Layman - Down
Played three minutes. Stat line: 2 fouls.
Dez Wells - Up
He's taking good shots and becoming the scorer Terp fans hoped he could be. Could his 23 point outburst on Tuesday be a sign of things to come?