Rather than writing my usual good (everything about Maryland. ..), bad ( ...except their turnovers) and ugly (UMES), I'll just keep it simple.
In a game against such a weak opponent, Maryland could take a few risks, and Mark Turgeon mixed up his starting lineup right out of the gate. For the first time all year, Maryland rolled out a new lineup, with Seth Allen, Jake Layman and Shaq Cleare starting in place of Pe'Shon Howard, Nick Faust and Alex Len.
"To answer your questions about the starting lineup, no one was in trouble," Turgeon said in his opening statement, "I just did it because you never know what lies ahead, and I want everyone to know what it is like to start a game."
Turgeon also mentioned that he plans on using a different starting lineup Saturday against South Carolina State. One note we did get out of the lineup moves was that Pe'Shon Howard's stomach was acting up, which limited him to just nine minutes. Turgeon left it up to Howard to decide if he could go back in, but in his absence the coach got to see what he had with Nick Faust running the point. However, in such a blowout could anything really be taken away from the game?
"Confidence, togetherness and smiling faces, I'm on these guys all the time. It just kind of shows you the type of guys we have." Turgeon joked.
While this was Maryland's worst opponent of the season record-wise, it was an opportunity to tinker with the lineup and get guys some extra minutes who normally don't start. Minutes were spread out pretty evenly tonight as Turgeon was alternating his lines (sorry hockey fans, I'm trying to help here). The extra minutes seemed to benefit everyone as Maryland finished with five scorers in double-figures.
Logan Aronhalt led the way with 17 points, and actually scored his first point of any kind from inside the three-point line Wednesday. Shaquille Cleare, who got the spot start, also made it into double-figures and finished with 12 points. Charles Mitchell had a double-double on the evening, finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
"I did?" Mitchell said when he found out he did, in fact, record a double-double, "I was just out there playing basketball and having fun enjoying the moment, I guess I'm proud of myself."
All in all, Maryland did what it was supposed to do against a winless opponent. Their next game, as Turgeon eluded to, will feature similar mix-and-match motifs, just to get more people accustomed to starting. Maryland faces South Carolina State on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is at 2:00 p.m.