Photo via AP
Yes, it was a tough loss by a pretty huge margin, but Maryland really didn't deserve it. It sounds strange, but UNC was on a different level tonight and would've beaten any team in the nation the way they were shooting.There were a ton of positives to take out of last night if you look past the score.
- The offense did extremely well last night. 91 points against UNC is no joke. That's the most any team has scored on the Heels all year. Of course, part of it had to do with the pace of the game and part of it had to do with UNC's removal of starters in the second half, but it's still a pretty big accomplishment.
- Cliff Tucker played last night. A lot. He played 20 minutes, tied with the Vermont game for the most all year for him. He was also extremely impressive in his time - he's a great passer, has very good vision, shot well, and was decisive. This style of play, however, was much more conducive to his strengths than a slower game, though, and Maryland doesn't get caught up in this type of play too much. Regardless of that, it was an outstanding game from Cliff.
- Not everything can be positive. Even though it was a freakish display of shooting luck, defenders have to get out farther on shooters. UNC was open a lot from three, because Maryland wanted to shut down the middle due to the size mismatch. And while that's all well and good against a team that has poor outside shooting, UNC can hit those shots. Trade some of those threes for twos, and the game is a lot more even. Gary needs to pick and choose when to go into that zone.
- Mosley has been developing into quite a player. He's perfect for the 3, in my mind. He drives the lane effectively, can finish through contact, is a great defender despite having average quickness, and he hustles. That's always been the most evident part of his game, but the rest of it is starting to come along, too. Unfortunately, he's still a freshman, and will make some mistakes. He had the foul at the end of the half on Ellington, and had a charge earlier.
- It was clear that by the middle of the second half, the emotion was gone from the team. I can't really blame them - they went out, gave it their best shot, and got knocked down early. Once the lead got to 20, most of the players lost spirit. It's understandable, but unfortunate.
- Maryland outperformed their season average in almost every offensive category - FG %, FT made, offensive rebounds, and assists. UNC, as I said earlier, was on a different planet. This is not a game to look at and get angry for the big loss. Some days luck isn't on your side, and that was today.