This is exactly what Maryland needed. After struggling on offense over the last month, Maryland found themselves in an ideal situation - facing a struggling Wake Forest team at home. What resulted was just what the doctor ordered for the Terps, as they thoroughly dominated the Demon Deacons from start to finish, winning 86-60. Six different Maryland players reached double figures, led by senior Logan Aronhalt, who scored 13 for the Terps.
"That was fun. We needed it. We needed a win" Turgeon said following the game. "We talked about playing with energy, playing hard, having fun. We put a lot more effort into us than Wake Forest today and it really helped"
After watching his team struggle and drop several close games over the past several weeks, head coach Mark Turgeon went with yet another starting lineup against Wake, trying to find a consistent starting five despite being halfway through the ACC schedule. Freshman Jake Layman, sophomores Alex Len, Nick Faust, and Dez Wells, along with senior James Padgett got the nod today.All performed very well, quickly getting into a groove out of the gate. Padgett, who has been coming off the bench recently, made his presence felt immediately. The senior forward scored four quick points for the Terps, while also intercepting an early pass by Wake that resulted in an easy basket for Dez Wells . Padgett finished with 12 points, four rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal.
"James played very well at Florida State. James is a senior. I have a lot of confidence in James on the defensive end" Turgeon said. "He scored early, we went right to him. His defense, his team defense was great. He is a smart player. It takes a lot of pressure off of Alex, off of Shaq and Charles when he play that way, so it was a welcome sight."
Maryland finished with 44 points in the paint, as well as eight second chance points.
Maryland shot an astonishing 73.9% in first half and 67.3% for the game. They also dished out 21 assists and did a great job sharing the ball and getting out and scoring quickly in transition. The Terps also continued their defensive dominance, holding Wake to just 34.4% shooting from the field and 25 first half points.
Despite their offensive production, Maryland continued to struggle taking care of the ball, turning it over 19 times. Mark Turgeon said again today that it's a frustrating problem for him and his staff as most, if not all, are turnovers that are correctable. But while they work to make those corrections in practice, they're simply trying to move past them when they occur during a game, instead focusing on getting their team back on defense.
"It's mind boggling" Turgeon lamented when talking about his team's sloppy turnovers. "it's frustrating. You take away turnovers and it could have been really fun today."
With today's win, Maryland improved to 16-6 (4-5 ACC) and now turns their attention to Virginia Tech, who Maryland thumped at home on January 5th, 94-71.
I'll have more from Mark Turgeon and reactions from the Maryland players a bit later. Until then, what did you think about today's win?