COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WUSA) - The Maryland Terps hosted the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks Wednesday night in a game that might as well have been a scrimmage. This game was never a challenge for the Terrapins and they posted their largest point total of the season finishing with 100.
The game featured a new starting lineup for Maryland. Head Coach Mark Turgeon decided to start Seth Allen, Dez Wells, Jake Layman, James Padgett, and Shaq Cleare. According to coach, this was not a disciplinary move and no one lost their spot. Turgeon said he wanted everyone to know how it feels to start, just in case.
"I just did it because you never know what lies ahead," Turgeon explained. "I've never done that before, but I've never had a team like this before that likes each other the way this team does and has the depth this team has. I know there are no bruised egos because I did that."
Pe'shon Howard's absence during the game was also worrisome. The junior guard only played nine minutes, but coach said it was because he was feeling sick. Apparently he had an upset stomach and pulled himself out of the game. Even without their assist leader, the team still had 27 passes lead to scores. Howard's presence was not missed defensively, either.
Kyree Jones proved to only real scoring threat for the Hawks as he scored 18 of his 24 points in the first half. The Terps would still go on to hold the Hawks to 68 points. Maryland on the other hand showcased a balanced attack as nine players finished the game scoring at least seven points. Five finished in double figures. They shot lights out from the field, connecting on 61 percent of their shots. That includes going 10 for 20 from behind the arc.
Sharpshooter Logan Aronhalt, who has been hot lately, did not cool off on Wednesday. He shot dagger after dagger from the three point line, making the Hawks pay for leaving him open beyond the perimeter. And he is hoping that teams start to pay more attention to him.
"If I shoot the ball the way I am, I assume teams will start getting up in me a little more," Aronhalt said. "I'm going to have to add other aspects to my game whether it be the pull up or getting all the way to the rim."
However, not everything was rosy in the Terps performance. They continued to turn the ball over on bad passing attempts. The team recorded 15 turnovers and Turgeon attributed the mistakes to selfishness and trying to do too much. But he was not that upset about it because he saw improvement.
"We're getting better. I'm not going to stress about [the turnovers]," Turgeon said. "We're a very young basketball team and we have the cart way before the horse."
I usually end the blog with a segment I call, "The Stock," but it hard to assess players improvement based on how bad UMES played. Instead, I will name the Player of the Game. I'm giving the game ball to Nick Faust and Aronhalt.
After the last game, Turgeon said that Faust was finally playing to win instead of score. He exhibited that kind of responsibility on Wednesday night. He finished the game with more assists (7) than shot attempts (6) and made some highlight passes to get his teammates open. This type of leadership will help this young team in the future.
Aronhalt shot 5 for 7 from the three point land and finished the game with a team high 17 points. He came off the bench and fulfilled his role as knockdown shooter and you should always be rewarded for do your job - and doing it REALLY well.
-Turgeon plans on starting another set of guys like he did on Wednesday for the same reasons.
-Freshman Charles Mitchell recorded his first double-double. When I asked how he felt about it, he replied "I did!?"