COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WUSA) - It was not pretty, but a win is a win. After finding an offensive rhythm LIU Brooklyn, the Terps offense sputtered at times vs. Lafayette. They finished the game shooting 52 percent, but they were very stagnant during large portions of the game.
If you look at the box score, you'd swear that, defensively, Maryland was dominant. The Leopards shot 39 percent from the field on 66 shots. Maryland out-rebounded their Patriot League opponent 44 to 28 and only grabbed 13 defensive boards. But those of us who attended the game no better.
Lafayette made 15 of 32 three point shots, 10 in the second half, and forced 12 turnovers to shrink the deficit from 19 to nine. They Terps could not shoot a jumper to save their athletic department (get it?) and the zone-look Lafayette showed them made it difficult to get the ball to star center, Alex Len. Head coach Mark Turgeon said he thought they make more jumpers in the second half, but when the buckets didn't fall, players realized they had to drive to get points.
Nevertheless, despite the few offensive struggles the team made, you can see that Maryland is beginning to get a feel for each other and getting more comfortable. They had 18 assists on the Tuesday night and seemed to really play team basketball. Turgeon said it was Nick Faust best game of the season and the sophomore concurred. A couple days after Turgeon said Faust was playing just to be a scorer, he finished with 13 points, but added eight rebounds to his stat line and did not force any bad shots.
However, my player of the night is the most underrated player on the team.
James Padgett - UP
He is often the forgotten man in the eyes of Terp loyalist, but he is probably the player having the most consistent season. In 20 minutes, essentially a half, he had 14 point and four rebounds. With teams trying hard to deny Len the ball, the senior forward plays with a high motor on the back end and provides good minutes, every time. He is the glue that keeps the starting rotation stable.
Seth Allen - Even
His minutes seemed to shrink in Tuesday's game and after his only three, he disappeared in the offense. Allen played good defense, but nothing spectacular. Still my favorite freshman, but clearly his worst game so far.
Shaq Cleare - Up
Shaq did not make a huge impact in Tuesday night's game, but his minutes are steadily increasing and his defense presence is being noticed.
Charles Mitchell - Even
The kid is still a rebounding stud. He took more shots and is making more of an offensive impact. If he can put it all together, the freshman could be dangerous during ACC play.
Jake Layman - Down
Turgeon has previously said that Layman has a huge learning curve and his minutes reflect it. In 16 minutes, the freshman took one shot and missed, but tallied four boards and two assists. But his on the court impact is looking minimal.
Quote of the Night:
"The Big Ten is supposed to be the number one league right now, right? They are rated right now the number one league. So I feel like it's a good opportunity for us." - Nick Faust when asked how he felt about the announcement on Maryland moving to the Big Ten Conference.