"I'll state the obvious, we weren't ready to play and they were," Mark Turgeon on his team to start the game.
In Maryland's final tuneup before conference play begins this weekend, the Terps got out of the gate about as terrible as they could. However, coach Mark Turgeon found a way to turn the tide and come back from their second-biggest deficit of the year -- 11 points.
Granted, the scoreboard did only read 14-3 at the time.
"Going from down 11 to up 25 we had to have gone on some kind of run," Mark Turgeon said after the game.
Maryland players and coaches admitted they just didn't come out ready to play the game. It begged the question were they ready for ACC play, and we found out after the game that was a resounding "Yes."
Obviously, IUPUI isn't exactly a big name for the players to get up for -- and the fans followed suit with one of the smallest crowds of the year. That said, it was an interesting game, and an extremely balanced game for the Terps. All ten of the Maryland regulars scored today, and everyone had at least four points, but only two players -- both off the bench -- scored in double figures.
Tuesday's game showed Maryland's greatest strength: their depth. Maryland is more than just Alex Len, despite the fact that he could potentially be the number one pick in the this year's NBA Draft. Maryland is also more than Dez Wells, who looks like the one player who has yet to have a truly poor performance so far this season. Turgeon praised his teams depth after the game, something he rarely does.
Charles Mitchell was handed his second start of the year after Turgeon hinted at a lineup change over the weekend. However, it was fellow freshmen Shaquille Cleare who stood out on the day. Cleare had a quiet first half, much like the rest of the team, but he stepped up in a big way in the second half.
"I don't know if Charles Mitchell will be starting on Saturday," Turgeon said about his lineup to start conference play.
Seth Allen and Logan Aronhalt also had big games off the bench, as the Terps enjoyed a 43-2 advantage in bench scoring. Allen led the team with thirteen points off the bench and was the key to getting Maryland going during the rough early patches hitting a few threes. Meanwhile, Aronhalt continued his hot shooting from behind the arc, and is now shooting near 56% from three on the season after a 3-for-4 performance against IUPUI.
Maryland now has four days to get ready for Virginia Tech on Saturday. A Virginia Tech team that is coming off back-to-back losses of 26 points or more. One thing is for certain heading in to conference play: while we have no idea who will step up on any given night, there is no shortage of answers for Turgeon and his Terps.