FanPost

The Terps Have No Effective Offensive Set

After watching the Maryland-Iowa game live in MSG, the chorus of Terp fans all around me agreed: The Terps have no effective offensive set, and I don't see how you can not (at least in part) fault Turgeon.

Last night (as well as throughout the season), the basic offensive set was defined by high picks set by Alex Len. This resulted in very little movement beyond the initial pick and roll, and with no low picks to free cutting guards, nearly no open looks for anyone on the floor. As a result, the Terps were forced to drive hard to the lane and put up difficult, contested shots, and last night, most didn't go in.

Everyone nearby who watched the game complained about the lack of movement, and lack of a system on display. To pursue one critique, the idea that 7'1' Alex Len can go through long stretches of the game (the first half last night for instance) only rarely touching the ball is a problem, and Turgeon is largely responsible. The lack of diversity is his positioning (which could include him at the foul line to receive entry passes or coming across the lane low to receive an entry pass from the wing) is agonizing to watch because Len as a stationary low-poster gets pushed off the block or is often doubled. I think the argument can be made that certain off ball movement could alleviate some of these problems.

The lack of offensive plays was made painful by watching Iowa, a physically inferior team, run a more effective offense that got numerous open jump shots and good looks, often from a single, initial pick. Last night, I didn't see a single open-ish jump shot for Wells or Faust or any Terp inside the 3-point line. Even the open-ish three point attempts are created more by quick movement of the ball rather than effective runs off picks. Or to put it another way, do any of the other Terps besides Aronhalt run off screens for looks at the basket? And if not, isn't that a problem?

After last night's game I feel heartbroken because after two seasons under a new coach, I don't see a system in development. The Terps are all good basketball players, but they're not becoming better basketball players by playing a defined role in a larger offensive set. Forgive me for invoking Gary, but regardless of the players, Gary found systems to institute (usually the hardly-perfect flex) and roles for his players to play so that they improved over time, both as players, AND as players in that system. Do you think a system is in place for Turgeon's Terps to do the same?

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