I want to start off with congratulating the team on a good win last night. If you look at the stat sheet you would assume Maryland would have loss, but they came out with the victory. When a team is able to win not playing well that shows a team that is growing.
This victory puts Maryland at 11-4 overall and 1-1 in the ACC. There are plenty of opportunities for the Terps left on the ACC slate to put together a solid resume for postseason play. Obviously the 2 games each against Duke and UNC will allow us four chances at a signature win, but the 2 games vs. Virginia are great chances as well. That gives us six ACC games to have victories against top 20 opponents.
To me the next three games are huge for the postseason chances of Maryland. Sunday we play GT at home, to me its a must win, then we travel to play FSU. The FSU game would be a great road win, but I am not expecting a win there since FSU was originally picked as the 3rd/4th best team in the ACC. The third upcoming game in my opinion is the most important game of them all, its a road tilt vs. non conference foe Temple. Temple is having a solid year, but they beat Duke and could contend for the A-10 title. If Maryland splits the two ACC games as suspected the Temple road game would be a great resume builder.
Overall, I am pleased with the record and how the team is coming together. Remember we truly have 8 scholarship players/key contributors. I do not count Weijs since he simply is a warm body that checks in a game.
The area of the game I am the most impressed with and was highlighted last night, is the ability to play team defense. Maryland did a great job on switching in man coverage as well as help defense. The offensive rebounding is insane with Pankey and Padgett, these two are keeping possessions alive, which is nice to see since our shooting has not been the best.
There are obvious areas in which Maryland needs to improve and I believe most of them will not come this year. The first is a second scoring option. I truly believe its Stogs and then everyone else. This works when several players score around 10-15 points and Stogs puts up 20ish. My main concern is the free throw shooting and last night was no exception. Maryland costs itself a good 5-10 points per game on missing so many foul shots. I am not expecting them to shoot 95% as a team put near 80% should be expected. Last nights game Maryland missed four in a row, one being a front end of a 1 and 1, which allowed Wake to score 8 straight points.
I think this team is going to improve under Turgeon and may be able to put a resume together good enough to make the NCAA. Call me a homer, but there is enough ability to do it. FEAR THE TURGE!!!