That was disappointing. Reaching the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2003 is something to be proud of but the Terps were capable of a lot more. The loss to Kansas was a microcosm of the larger problems that nagged the Terps all season. The offense was stone cold for a significant stretch in the second half and got outrebounded. The Jayhawks finished with 30 boards and the Terps with 28, but Maryland gave up 13 offensive rebounds. That was a problem that reared its head about two months ago and never went away.
What makes it the worst is the potential this team had. That #2 ranking and 22-3 start had us riding on cloud 9. Remember that Bowie State game randomly inserted into the B1G schedule? After it, the Terps finished the regular season 2-4. Probably doesn't meaning anything, but it's something to think about. The loss at Minnesota was a sign of things to come. The Terps never seemed the same after that loss. It was almost like the loss finally made the team start to truly doubt itself. The team's inability to put enough distance between themselves and the Jayhawks early in the game when the Terps started fast proved crippling.
I'm watching Tracy Wolfson interview Jay Wright now (I did that on purpose). This isn't meant as a knock on Turgeon; damn would it have been great if the Terps could have wooed Wright. The Terrapins never took care of their most glaring deficiencies this year and that was their ultimate downfall. I have a hard time blaming that on anyone but the coach. Turgeon did enough this year to appease most of the doubters but the results have to make you question; can Turgeon make us elite again? He recruits well enough, all that's left is for him to prove he can get the results. He's never made it past the Sweet 16 as a coach – Maryland is the school he can, and should, do it with.
This season was inarguably a step forward, but what Turgeon accomplishes in his next four to five years at Maryland, which he is certain to get unless he leaves on his own accord, will define his time as head coach of the Terrapins. He has built the right foundation to get Maryland back to the top, but he won't get there unless he finds a better way to run his offense. This team's defense was outstanding at times and infuriating at others, but a reliable offensive would have helped to mitigate a lot of the problems this team had. I also have a hard time believing Turgeon will ever again have the amount talent at his disposal that he had this season. I do believe he can do it, but it won't be an easy task.
I ran into Melo, Nickens, Brantley, Dodd and some of the walk-ons at the bar yesterday. For what it's worth, walk-on Andrew Terrell (he of the made deep three against Rhode Island) seemed to think Melo was staying. His draft stock has undoubtedly plummeted and with two more years of eligibility he might do well by himself to see if another year will help his development. Stone is probably gone, but Carter should be back and a healthy Dion Wiley can't be anything but a good thing. He was supposed to start this year over Sulaimon before his injury. Can you imagine Sulaimon, or Wiley, as our 6th man this year? Man, that would have made us a much deeper team by itself. The loss of Layman will hurt, he was arguably our best defender and played the best basketball of his career during his final month as a Terp. It's sad to see him go, he made himself one of my favorite Terps.
I think next year's team is capable of more than the Sweet 16. If Melo comes back, he and Cowan would form an incredible back court. Maybe Trimble could play off the ball more and establish himself more as a shooting guard? That would be interesting to see and might suit his skill set more.
The Terps take on the #1 overall seed this evening in their first sweet 16 game in 13 years. The Terps are 6 point underdogs and some experts are picking the Terps. Seth Davis for one, has predicted the upset.
Personally, I'm confident that Maryland has the talent to play with Jayhawks. I expect the game to be close throughout. It will come d [...] Read More »
The Terps punched their ticket to their first sweet 16 in 13 years tonight. Put another way, it is the first time since I started this blog 12 years ago that I get to write a post about Maryland in the Sweet 16. Oh man, how I've waited for this! I don't care how it happened, I'm gonna enjoy it!
It wasn't pretty, in fact it was down right ugly [...] Read More »
On Friday, the Terps backed into a win against South Dakota State to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Ahead by 18 points in the second half, the Terps nearly gave it all way thanks to incredibly hot shooting by the Jack Rabbits (13-16 down the stretch), poor defense, and dumb fouling by Maryland.
Melo Trimble fouled ou [...] Read More »
It's the Terrapins vs. the Jackrabbits this afternoon in Spokane WA. Or put another way, it's the turtoises vs the hare. Yes, the old fable ends well for the turtoise and I certainly hope today is no different.
#5 seeds have been dropping like flies so far and the Terps are certainly vulnerable. South Dakota State has excellent shooters and T [...] Read More »
It's Big Ten Semifinal day and Maryland has a chance for a true signature win today. Sure, the Terps have beaten top 20 teams this season, but always at home.
Michigan State is a favorite to get to the Final Four and a likely one seed if they beat Maryland today. In fact, they may be a one seed if they lose.
The Terps played Michigan Stat [...] Read More »
The Terps have a surprise opponent tonight. Nebraska beat Wisconsin last night and that means the Cornhuskers now have a chance to avenge their 5 point loss in Lincoln earlier this year.
Nebraska will be playing their third game in three days so Maryland should win handily. "Should" of course is the key word in that sentence. Maryland should [...] Read More »
The dust has settled and it's time for the real thing. I think we all expected a better performance from the Terps in Bloomington, but I don't believe that game was ever going to be a good indicator of the success this team will have over the next month (hopefully). The B1G Tournament will tell us if this team has the mettle to make it through Marc [...] Read More »
In terms of the Big Ten standings, today's game against Indiana is meaningless.
Maryland will be the 3 seed if Purdue beats Wisconsin and the 4 seed if they don't. It's that simple.
Today's game is critical if you want the Terps to have a deep run in March. Maryland finally played a good game against a dreadful Illinois team on Thursday. [...] Read More »
The Terps enter the last week of the regular season with their worst ranking of the year. Maryland has lost 3 of their last 4 games and seem completely incapable of protecting the glass.
The fact that this team- arguably the most talented in Maryland history- could allow 19 offensive on 29 missed shots at Purdue on Saturday is one of the most [...] Read More »