Paradise Jam: Maryland vs. Northern Iowa

11/24/2013 8:24:31 AM Here we go.  The Terps have a chance to salvage a bit from the weekend after yesterday's Tour de Force of ineptitude from Randy Edsall.

Are they up to the task?  Unfortunately, the signs point to no.

Offensively, the Terps looked lost in the first half against Marist, one of the worst teams in the entire NCAA.  Turgeon continues to let Nick Faust run wild (2-8 on Friday, 13-45 on the season) with apparently no repercussions for his awful play.  We'll see if Turgeon has the stones to do the right thing and bench the kid.

Dez Wells has not been much better.  Dez plays like he is the Alpha Dog and he's not.  He's a gifted player, but when the Terps need a bucket, I'd rather Jake Layman or Chuck Mitchell take the shot.  Layman can hit from anywhere on the court and Mitchell can beat his man on the interior.  Are they perfect players?  Far from it, but they are the best offensive weapons the Terps have.  Wells is a slasher who doesn't do anything but shoot (often wildly) when he gets to the hole.  It's not hard for teams to figure out.  How many times will Turgeon watch Wells go to the rack with two or three defenders draped all over him before he tells him to stop?  Perhaps after seeing Faust do it so many times that Well's attempts don't look so bad.

Shaq Cleare showed a pulse against an over-matched Marist but he's no Charles Mitchell.  Both are terrible free throw shooters but Mitchell loves operating with his back to the basket while Shaq has no idea what to do.  There's really no comparison between the two players. Turgeon needs to stop pretending and install Mitchell as the starting center.

Peters, Mitchell, Wells, Layman, and Smotrcyz give the Terps the best chance to win. Anyone paying attention to this team can see that they are the five best players on the squad. This line up should against Northern Iowa in particular because the Panthers lack quickness and prefer to shoot the long ball.  That should make them easier to defend for guys like Smot and Layman.

Yes, Smot and Layman present defensive problems for Turgeon as neither is a stout man-to-man defender but Northern Iowa is not exactly filled with McDonald' All Americans.

The bottom line is that Turgeon needs to find a way to get offensive consistency without losing too much defensively. 

A loss today and the Maryland athletic program has turned in yet another lost weekend. 

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