Plumlees Lead Duke Past Maryland, 73-55

Terrell Stoglin was held to 13 points - only two in the second half - and the Brothers Plumlee combined for 29 points and 32 rebounds, including a record-breaking 22 from Miles, as Duke coasted past Maryland 73-55.

Yes, it was as painful as it sounds.

Duke was sloppy and out-of-it early, perhaps suffering a bit of post-Carolina hangover. Maryland jumped out to an early 10-3 lead, but how it was built - Duke missing open shots, mainly - was never going to hold up over the course of the game. Unsurprisingly, it didn't take long for the Blue Devils to regain control, taking a 32-29 lead into the half.

Things very nearly got out of hand right away in the second half, with Duke jumping out with a few quick three-pointers. At the 14:00 mark, the Blue Devils held a 10-point lead and, with Terrell Stoglin struggling, appeared to have the game in hand. Maryland would make a run largely thanks to strong play from Nick Faust and Mychal Parker (no, really) and cut the lead to three at the 8:45 mark, but they would get no closer. Duke closed out the final 8:45 with a 20-5 run, closing out the game in painful fashion for the Terrapins and sealing a 73-55 win.

Maryland isn't close to Duke's talent level, and that meant their margin for error was razor thin. Giving up 21 offensive rebounds and getting only 15 points from Terrell Stoglin? They never had a chance with those factors. This team needs more talent, more depth - more everything, basically - before they'll be ready to go to Cameron Indoor and knock off Duke with a level playing field.

Stoglin was particularly vexing. I had started to wonder this last night, but it's now obvious to me: Pe'Shon Howard wasn't important to Maryland because Pe' himself was particularly good; it was because he allowed Stoglin to function freely off the ball. They tried to do the same with Faust at times but it was never the same; Stoglin is this team's point guard now, and he struggled at times with it. I don't expect this will be him all year long, but he had a rough time of it and the absence of Howard was a big reason why.

In the good news column, both Faust and Parker looked downright fantastic. Faust finished with 15 points and 8 boards; Parker had 12 points and shot 6-6 from the stripe. They both took two ill-advised threes, but Faust got one to fall(!) and they were sensational driving the basket. That will likely be the future of this team: penetrate, penetrate, penetrate. Faust is magical at the rim, and we all know Parker can sky. Stoglin, too, is fantastic getting to the rim. Now all they need is a few snipers on the outside to stretch the floor, and this offense might work. Seth Allen? Good. Sam Cassell and/or Marco Bourgault? Even better. Add one of those two, and I can see some real positivity in the future.

But Shaquille Cleare cannot get here fast enough. Maryland is in desperate need of a big body who can push guys like the Plumlees out of the paint and own the boards. It's a lot to expect Cleare to do that right away, but that's the type of potential he has. With Alex Len maturing at the same time Cleare comes into the program, things should get better in the paint, and they absolutely need to because the Terps got owned down low today. Final rebounding marign? 48-33. Yup.

Oh, and happy day: Terrell Stoglin is complaining about playing time on Twitter. This will go over well.

More coming later. I'm a little upset about the direction this one took, so I'll simmer down before going further into it.

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