Maryland followed up their heartbreaking loss in Brooklyn to Kentucky with an impressive 67-45 victory over Morehead State in their home opener. It was an balanced effort from the Terrapins on the stat sheet. The team rebounded well from the game against Kentucky and played a stout defensive game. The offensive game could use some work, but that is a work in progress.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon talked about some adjustments he wanted the team to make following the loss to Kentucky and pointed out two key factors. First, he wanted the team to do a better job defensively and holding an opponent under 50 points is certainly doing that. The second part was sharing the ball more, and Turgeon thought the team did that by finding higher percentage shots for teammates, but obviously turnovers were a big issues.
"I don't like this assist-to-turnover ratio tonight, but give credit to Morehead State." Turgeon said after the game as his one negative takeaway.
Maryland's Shooting Percentage
Maryland couldn't possibly have shot the ball worse than they did against Kentucky, but seeing them finish near 50% is a positive sign. They also had a respectable free throw percentage until late, but down the stretch missed a few when the game was out of hand.
This team has a wealth of talent down low, and they all happen to be very capable defenders. Alex Len and Shaquille Cleare had a block party tonight, both finishing with three blocks apiece. Charles Mitchell continues to be a rebounding machine, as most of the big men are for Maryland. The Maryland defense also forced 20 turnovers out of Morehead State.
Dez Wells' Home Debut
During introductions, the crowd was loudest for Dez Wells. The students, alumni and fans feel for Wells and have already made him a fan favorite before his first game. Wells had an alley-oop dunk from Nick Faust that brought everyone in attendance to their feet. He also hit a three and came back on defense and drew a charge, letting out an emotional scream that was months in the making. He was at home in his new home.
Morehead State -- In General
Morehead had an ugly day offensively, and while they were able to force 20 turnovers, more than a handful were unforced errors on the part of the Terrapins. Morehead State also shot just 1-for-14 from behind the arc tonight -- for you non-math majors that is just 7.1%.
Morehead's Coach Sean Woods
In short: it looked like he was screaming at his kids -- a lot. To the point that it was uncomfortable and people on twitter even took notice. No offense, but you're playing a high-major on the road, you could not have expected to be winning, could you have?
Jake Layman's Impending Haircut
It isn't his hair so much, that part is glorious, its the his hair leaving that is the issue. After the game Coach Turgeon informed the media that Layman would be cutting his hair. Afterward, Layman made sure to point out that it was only a trim and not a full on buzz cut. Sunshine, Jaime Lannister, whatever you want to call him, he lives for another game -- at least.
This might just be me, but if the head coach is making a plea for students and fans to show up after the first game -- that isn't a good thing. Just 8,724 people showed up for the home opener on Monday night. Granted, it is a vacation weekend and did have a later start than most non-conference games that aren't nationally televised start, but calling out The Diamonback and telling the reporter in the room that he needs to write about is a troubling sign.
"It was amazing. I would have liked for the crowd to have been more packed than it was tonight, but that will come with the season coming along." Wells' said after the game on the home crowd.
Wells is right, the crowds will start showing up later in the season, but will they be in Comcast Center for the rest of the non-conference schedule?