There may not be much you can take from Maryland's comfortable 100-68 win over UMES, which dropped to 0-8with the loss. But if there was going to be any performance that left you encouraged, or at least not discouraged, it would be total dominance. And that's exactly what the Terrapins brought.
Maryland shot 61% from the field, hit half of their three-pointers, had 27 assists on 38 made field goals, held UMES to 32% shooting, and won the rebounding margin by nine. The game was never close. It was exactly the type of performance you'd expect from a team of Maryland's quality against a team of UMES's. But Maryland historically has struggled to get those performances with consistency; it's relaxing that tonight they did.
The big story of the day was, actually, the starting lineup. Maryland had gone with the same five every single game, but switched it up tonight, sitting Pe`Shon Howard, Nick Faust, and Alex Len in favor of Seth Allen, Jake Layman, and Shaquille Cleare. That fivesome stayed in the game through the under-16 timeout, coming around around the 13-minute mark after building up a comfortable seven point lead. That's when Turgeon flipped the lineup entirely, subbing in the aforementioned three plus Logan Aronhalt and Charles Mitchell. His reasoning is as of yet unexplained - sending a message to the starters? throwing a bone to the bench players? decided starting lineup via scrimmage? - but whatever the reason, it worked. The Terrapins coasted to a 21-point lead at the half, shooting an absurd 65% from the field and hitting 6 of their 10 attempted three-pointers. And from there it was more or less over, with Conner Lipinski getting the third digit on the scoreboard with a quartet of late free throws.
The best performer? Logan Aronhalt, I'd say, who looked absurdly accurate anytime he had half a chance to let it fly. He finished 5-7 from deep, continuing his recent solid run. Over the past three games he's knocked down 12-16 from three, a percentage that's mind-boggling good even against middling competition (and two of those contests were most definitely not against middling competition). Aronhalt is a sniper's sniper, and he's proving that he can be an asset to Maryland even beyond his regular zone-busting role. This roster is crying out for a three-point assassin, and him stepping up to that plate is a big deal.
No one looked bad, though. Alex Len dominated the second half, Seth Allen had good spurts, Jake Layman looked smooth, Charles Mitchell quietly posted a double-double. The only guy who didn't come out a winner? Maybe Howard, who received only nine minutes in total, only two in the second half. Clearly some of that is Turgeon seeing how Nick Faust and Seth Allen fare running point in a game situation, which is of more use to him than running out Howard for more practice. But it's still tough to look at that huge minutes disparity - guys like Dez Wells and James Padgett received plenty of burn - and not raise an eyebrow or two. For now, it means mostly nothing, but keep an eye on that situation.
Well, folks, it's cupcakes from here to December, except maybe Stony Brook. Get used to (hopefully) blowouts and (not if there is a Juan) Glenn Consor's smooth, articulate voice commenting on ESPN3.