BSL: Terps beat Tulsa in Allen's return; What did we see?
Buoyed by the return of Seth Allen, the University of Maryland Terrapins improved to 8-5 overall with a 85-74 win over Tulsa University.
The Terps will close out 2013 by hosting North Carolina Central Tuesday afternoon. The Terrpains 2nd Atlantic Coast Conference game of the season, will begin the 2014 portion of MD's schedule when the Terps host Georgia Tech Saturday.
What did we see?
1) After losing to Boston University on the 21st, it felt like another 'Uh Oh' moment when MD was down 25-10 with 9 minutes left in the 1st half tonight vs. Tulsa. Suddenly we were having thoughts wondering just how bad things might get for the Terrapins this year. Credit Maryland for battling back with a 25-10 run over their own to go to half-time tied at 35. In the 2nd half, MD looked motivated to win. There were contributions from players up and down the roster, and the intensity was good. Can't get too carried away by a win over a mid-major; but the effort over the last 30 minutes or so is something you hope they can use as a building block.
2) Seth Allen made a difference, and looked more in-sync than you might have expected for someone who missed as much time as he did. He had a nice drive to the basket from the top of the key, to pull MD within 9 (25-16). That was followed by a 3 to cap a 9-0 MD run. In the 1st half, Allen had 9 points. Starting the 2nd half for MD, Allen quickly hit his 3rd 3 - giving the Terps the 38-37 lead. Allen finished with 15 points, and 3 assists. He was 4 of 10 from the floor, including 3 of 6 from 3. Great results for his first time out.
3) It was interesting to see Coach Turgeon start Dodd. We know Turgeon had talked about needing to change the post production after the Boston University loss; but Dodd had been buried on the bench against Florida Atlantic, and Boston College. Dodd had MD's first points tonight with a dunk. Defensively, Dodd did a good job of altering shots from Tulsa. Nice board from Dodd with 4:20 left, and MD up 6. That dunk to start the game, was Dodd's lone basket.
4) Maryland was 13 of 32 (41%) in the 1st half, and limited Tulsa to 11 of 33 (33%) from the floor. For the game, the Terps were 25 of 58 (43%), including 10 of 25 (40%) from 3. Tulsa was 25 of 65 (38.5%) overall.
4a) The Terps had 10 assists on their 25 made FG's.
5) The Terps had a 23-19 rebounding edge in the 1st half. For the game, MD won on the glass 41-34.
6) Maryland's defense helped them get back into the game, climbing out of the 15 point defecit. The Terps had 7 blocks in the 1st half, with Graham having 3, and Wells have 2. Those block totals would stand, as MD did not have a 2nd half block.
7) Tulsa built their 1st half lead by using ball pressure, prior to falling back into a zone defense. Both the pressure and the zone defense had MD looking uncomfortable on offense in the initial 10 minutes of the game.
7a) Despite some of those early issues with Tulsa's pressure, MD was able to limit the turnovers. MD finished with 10 turnovers, Wells leading the way with 3.
8) Layman was 0-6 from the floor in the 1st half, including 0-4 from 3. Layman tied the game at 41 early in the 2nd half; dunking hard along on the baseline while being fouled. Hitting his first 3 with a little over 12 minutes remaining, put MD up 48-45. Maryland was up 52-47, with 10:35 left when Tulsa HC Danny Manning was called for a double-technical. Layman would hit all 4 of the FT's. Layman finished with 11 points, 4 boards, 3 assists, and a block. He was just 2 of 10 from the floor, 1 of 7 from 3.
9) Smotrycz had 7 points (2 of 6 from the floor), and 4 boards in the 1st half. ESPN's Corey Alexander relayed Coach Turgeon's comments about Smotrycz being MD's most relieable player - the player Turgeon knows is going to provide the most consistent performance game-to-game. A Smotrycz 3 with 7:30 left, put MD back up 10 (65-55). Nice rebound, and finish off a miss from Allen with 2 minutes left. Smotrycz had 12 points, and 5 boards. He was 3 of 6 from 3.
10) We mentioned above that Wells had 2 first half blocks. He was really all over the floor, playing with intensity. Nice move with the left hand, putting MD up 61-50 with 9 minutes left. Allen helped set-up Wells with an open 3 with about 7 minutes left. Loved the floater from Wells with just over 3 minutes left. Completely agreed with ESPN's Alexander saying Wells needs to continue to attack the basket. That is his game. Wells finished with 18 points, 9 boards, and those 2 blocks. He was a very efficient 7 of 10 from the floor.
11) Faust's 2nd 3 put the Terps up 51-45. Faust finished with just 4 FG attempts. In the previous 5 games, he had 43 total. Faust having less attempts tonight, shows some immediate impact of having Allen available. Faust finished with 8 points.
12) We talked about Graham having 3 blocks in the 1st half. His willingness (and obvious desire) to play defense is fun to watch. When he is on the court, and there are loose balls; he's the guy you see going to the ground.
13) Mitchell seemed to be playing hard in the minutes he received tonight, but again those minutes were limited. Early in the game he did have a nice jump hook in the lane. With 5 minutes left he was blocked. He finished the game with 2 points, 2 boards, and a block. Even factoring in his defensive rebounding limitations, he still seems like the best starting Center option to me.
14) One of the primary benefactors of Allen's return is Peters. While we currently believe Peters will remain the primary PG, Peters was clearly helped with another teammate capable of having the ball in his hands. Enjoyed some of the time Peters and Allen were on the court together. Nice drive from Peters to put MD up 43-41, with 16 minutes left. Peters finished with 7 points, 1 assist, and 1 turnover.
15) After Cleare's 10 point, 5 board, 2 block outing vs. Florida Atlantic; I had hoped that game would be something he could build from. He had 2 quick baskets against Boston University, but that was pretty much it from him in that game. Tonight, Cleare was again a total non-factor.
16) Maryland was 18 of 27 from the FT line. Good job getting to the charity stripe, still leaving points there though.
17) With everyone counting Maryland out of playing their way into the NCAA Tournament picture; the Terps have an opportunity to play loose. Let's see if they can build off their win tonight, with maintained effort vs. NC Central.