COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WUSA) - The Terps came into Wednesday night's game on a two game losing streak. After blowing a lead at home against Florida State and shooting poorly at Miami, many wondered if this team was actually as good as their record. As the team faced adversity, Mark Turgeon looked to his players and questioned their will.
"I asked them that before the game, why'd you come [to Maryland]?" he asked. "I told them,'well, I came here to be a part of something much bigger than myself.'"
Apparently, the players did, too. Facing a #14 NC State team who just knocked off Duke from the top of the AP Poll, Maryland won a their biggest game the season on a last second put back by Sophomore Alex Len. Turgeon called it the biggest game the Terps won since Greivis Vasquez graduated in 2010.
"I came here to do great things," Turgeon said. "We haven't done many great things since I've been here. This is one great thing."
The Terps' student body agreed. They rushed the court as if the Wolfpack was the number one team in the nation. Regardless if the victory was court-rushing appropriate, Wednesday night's victory gives the young Terps a win to add to their NCAA tournament resume.
Grade the Game
This grade may even be a little too high because the shooting was still horrendous. After shooting 34% on Wednesday night, the Terps have gone three straight games making 37% of their shots or fewer. Maybe they are struggling to shoot against quality opponents or perhaps I'm not giving Miami, FSU, and NC State enough credit. Nevertheless, at this rate, they will struggle to contend in every game for the rest of the season. A good basketball team has to shoot consistently above 42% to remain competitive.
On the other hand, Turgeon has finally started Seth Allen and has given Nick Faust point guard responsibilities where he seems to be most comfortable. Pe'Shon Howard's unwillingness and inability to score made him a liability and I believe with more practice, this new unit will be more efficient.
Maryland has been shooting poorly, but they are not getting blown out because of how they guard. Shaq Cleare and Len did a good job containing CJ Leslie. The Wolfpack's leading man only had 13 points and five rebounds. NC State was also held to 31% from the field and the Maryland forced them to turn the ball over 11 times. If they can ever get out of their shooting slump, Maryland could be dangerous down the stretch.
He may not have liked my question after the FSU game about why he trusts Seth Allen to take the last shot even though he won't start him, but I'd like to think it made Turgeon re-evaluate some things. Because he started the freshman at the point against Miami and he started him as a shooting guard on Wednesday. Like I said earlier, moving Faust to point was also a beneficial move, for both him and the team.
However, I was shocked in the first half when Turgeon didn't go back to his starters after the second unit struggled and allowed the Wolfpack to cut into the lead. His starting unit began the game on an 8-0 run, but after subs were made, the Terps missed 15 straight shots. I understand the need to work your rotation, but I'm also a huge advocate of 'if it ain't broke don't fix it.'
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