Make no mistake, this Maryland Terrapins team still needs to win four games in Atlanta to make the NCAA Tournament, but tonight's game may define this season. With the game in the balance with under two minutes to go, the Terps turned the game around thanks to a Sean Mosley three-pointer, which started a 14-4 run to close out the 75-70 win over Miami.
- Mark Turgeon's Play-calling: Coming out of timeouts tonight, Maryland had 8 positive plays, including 3 three-pointers and forced two turnovers on defense. Turgeon also said after the game that he sat down with players yesterday before practice and had them buy in to his game plan for Tuesday night's game. Turgeon even noted that he was pleased with Terrell Stoglin's game -- something that hasn't been said often this season. Turgeon noted "We made adjustments defensively tonight, and it didn't take 3 possessions. Just a young team growing up." Turgeon also emphasized defense for Tuesday's match-up "One of our keys for today was 'Maryland defense'." What exactly is Maryland defense, though?
- Maryland's Starting Backcourt: While they didn't shoot particularly well (12-for-32), they did score 43 of the teams 75 points, and finished with 13 assists. It was a great rebound for the trio of Sean Mosley, Nick Faust, and Stoglin, who will be expected to play big minutes without Pe'Shon Howard in the lineup for the rest of the season. Stoglin led the team in scoring, Mosley had the game's defining play and Faust played lock-down defense all game. Mark Turgeon after the game said "Nick [Faust] could guard any guard, anyone, in the country."
- F Kenny Kadji, Miami: He was dominant, at times, for Miami. Maryland just couldn't find a consistent answer for him inside. He hit a three, and has hit near 50% on the season, despite his forte being in the post. On a night when Reggie Johnson was nearly taken out of the equation entirely, Kadji stepped up and put the team on his back in stretches.
- The Maryland-Miami Series in 2012: Both games were great this season. In all honesty, there's not a rich history between the two teams, but both matched up well with each other and provided two of the best games of Maryland's season. Miami rode the momentum after the first game into a win over Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Where does Maryland go from here? Only time will tell.
- Miami Players Not Named Kadji, Scott or McKinney-Jones: While Maryland got production from 7 of the 9 players to step foot on the court tonight, Miami had 5 players put in disappointing performances. The three players named above combined for 43 of Miami's 70 points and 15 of the 29 rebounds. The rest of the team combined to shoot 7-for-27.
- Maryland's Walk-on Plan: After Coach Turgeon said that Maryland would definitely use at least one of the walk-on guards off the bench, he did stick to his guns. Maryland Guard Jonathan Thomas saw just two minutes of action tonight. However, he had a turnover and a badly missed three in his two minutes. I'm not expecting Thomas or fellow walk-on Arnold Richmond to contend for a starting spot, but if they can't provide positive minutes, just stick with the three -- or four, if you count Mychal Parker -- guards that you know can compete in the ACC. The Terps were -7 when Thomas was on the court tonight.
- The Maryland Student Section: I am officially calling out the Maryland students. That was a pitiful performance tonight. This is a picture I took right before tip-off tonight. I'm aware Maryland was coming off a 27-point loss to rival UVA, but this crowd was pathetic. Maryland's final home game of the season is next Sunday (March 4th). I can only hope it's a sellout. Honestly, this was a great basketball game, and the crowd did step it up in the second half, so I think it's a good thing if this is the only entry in this category.
- Nick Faust's game tonight won't stand out in the box score: 8 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal. However, what he provided tonight was more telling than the box score would lead you to believe. When he got his second foul mid-way through the first half, that's when Miami made their run and eventually took the lead. Faust made a circus lay-up that got the crowd back into the game as Maryland took their first lead of the half at 42-41. However, one thing the box score does show, is Faust went 4-of-5 from the free throw line -- impressive for a kid who was shooting 60% coming in to tonight. A game like tonight's shows Faust's development at a time when a lot of freshman hit a wall, as they've never played this many games in a season before. Faust's development will be key, not just this season, but as the Terps build for the future.
For full coverage of the Terrapins before, during and after tonight's game, keep it tuned toTestudo Times. For more coverage on the Miami Hurricanes, head on over to The 7th Floor. For all things college basketball, hop on over to the college basketball hub page atSB Nation NCAAB for complete coverage of all the games across the nation tonight and every night.