The Terps looked lost the last couple of games against Pittsburgh and Florida St, and in the first half, it seemed as though they would stay true to form, and go down without a fight against Notre Dame. Only this time, the Terps fought back, winning the game by a score of 74-66. Here are three things we learned in the victory Wednesday night.
When the Terps play as one, they can be a fun team to watch.
Too often this season, the Terps have gone down the court looking to score on their own and will the team back individually. While this happened at times Wednesday night, they seemed to play more as a unit, rather than individuals trying to score. The best news? Dez Wells showed fire again. Emotion spewed from every player on the team, showing renewed confidence not seen in the past couple of weeks. The key word for this performance is continuity. The offense didn't look disjointed, and it set up better shots and more offensive rebound opportunities. Something to touch on is the use of the big men throughout the game. Shaquille Cleare even showed his touch, making a turnaround shot with the foul sending him to the line. While you can't expect this every game, it is encouraging to see him showing his capabilities.
The Terps are more than capable of coming from behind.
As it has been stated over-and-over again, the Terps seemed to hang their head in disbelief when they would get down in games. This was not the case tonight, and the confidence helped spur them to a comeback in the second half. What was most notable was the challenged outside shots. The defense fought through screens rather than going around them, keeping a defender in the face of a shooter. Sounds simple, right? Overall, the urgency was there the entire game, even in the first half where they fell behind. Wells took over with his aggressive play, going to the line 13 times and converting on 11 of those attempts. Wells is tough to defend, and this should be a game that helps him realize that.
Even though it takes Peters off of the court, Seth Allen needs to play the minutes he did Wednesday night.
Roddy Peters is the only true point guard on roster, but Seth Allen is the difference-maker for Maryland. Peters played only 8 minutes to Allen's 27, but it was necessary. Allen provides a spark that Peters simply can't with his shooting ability and continuity with his teammates. Peters will get there, and it isn't likely he will only play 8 minutes in the future, but if this game is a sign, Allen needs to see his minutes stay around that mark. The team looked more fluid with him on the court, matched up with Wells and Faust/Layman.
- Nick Faust only went 2-7 from three and 4-9 from the field, but he played at a high level Wednesday night. Confidence is key for him.
- Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell combined for 17 points on 8-12 shooting from the field. They lso hauled in nine rebounds. Much better play from the two.
- Evan Smotrycz continues to struggle from the floor, going 2-12 from the field and 1-5 from three.
- All 17 points from Dez Wells came in the second half.
- The Terps still shot just 26.9% from three Wednesday night, while shooting 39.7% from the field total.