Maryland Minute 3.11.13: Well, at least we have that awesome Dez Wells dunk, I guess

USA TODAY Sports

Dez's slam, why Shaq Cleare didn't play, looking ahead to the ACC Tourney, and more.

I'm not as big on the dunk as some are given that it proved ultimately of little use. But man, just watch it:


Said when he came in that he was one of the best finishers in the country. Finally we're starting to see as much. That was vicious.

On to other matters:

On Alex Len going for the steal
On the final play in regulation, when Mike Tobey got a relatively free layup over Dez Wells, Alex Len took himself out of the play reaching around trying to deny the entry pass. Generally speaking, that's not awful; on the final play of the game, though, you're better served forcing Tobey to make a shot over the seven-footer. I'd be interested to hear if Turgeon's critique of Alex is based on Len ignoring his instruction or whether he just thinks Len made a poor decision - i.e., did he tell the team specifically not to reach and Alex ignored that, or did he simply expect Len to know? We'll never know either way, but it's definitely a learning experience for someone.

Another note here: Turgeon said Maryland lost because they "just couldn't get enough stops." I said in the recap that the loss wasn't about defense, and I still believe that; I do understand why he has to look at it that way, since I think he is trying to build an identity as a defensive team. But if they didn't fall apart offensively, they could've set up the press - and that was the real difference between the two halves, not Maryland's defense itself.

Turgeon on Shaquille Cleare's playing time - IMS
Turge says it was a matchup thing - he wanted to go small and Shaq didn't fit in. He wanted to switch it up in the second half, but by that point thought it was too late to throw him in.

And yeah, I'm not so sure about that. That's all of four minutes Cleare has played in the past two games, having sat out three consecutive halves. That sounds to me like there's something up, even if that something is just Cleare not impressing in practice. But when the Terps were getting blitzed in the second half and seeing their lead slip away, you'd think they'd look to try anything. It's certainly a head-scratcher.

ACC tournament bracket officially set
Gonna be interesting to see how Maryland reacts mentally. Dropping two in a row - with the second being so painful - is a serious confidence blow. The turnaround isn't particularly quick, thankfully, but Thursday will be a test.

Spring practice: Ricardo Young "very inconsistent"
That's the big thing with Young, and the question that surrounded him - you knew he had the athleticism, and technically he's not bad either, but he's never played a snap of competitive college football and hasn't seen action in any real game in years. Whether or not he could bring that high level of performance day in and day out was uncertain, and it sounds like the staff is seeing it now.

Spring practice: Nigel King makes a name for himself
I'm a huge King fan; I like him every bit as much as Marcus Leak. Leak is more experienced and has been more productive, but King has a strength and athleticism about him that Leak lacks, and might be a better foil for the Stefon Diggs-Deon Long duo. With Leak out for the spring, this is a massive opportunity for him.

Baseball: Terps deal Virginia first loss of their season
Impressive road victory. Not exactly a flying start to the season, but undoubtedly a good one. That's a nice win.

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