In a game to forget, the Terps laid an egg in Tallahassee en route to an 85-61 loss to Florida St. The game started on the wrong foot, with the Terps getting down 10-2 to start the game. After fighting back to get the game within striking distance, the Seminoles would go on a run, hitting a barrage of threes to open up a 20 point lead at halftime. Here are three things we learned from Sunday night's game.
From a coach who prides himself on defense, the Terps aren't playing tough defense as of late.
Whether it's on the fast-break or in the half-court, the Terps have struggled defensively as of late, and that can be shown in the amount of open threes they allowed on Sunday night. The Seminoles finished the game 16-24 from three, with an overall field goal percentage of 50%. That simply doesn't get it done, especially in conference play, whether it's against mid-tier competition like Florida State or the even tougher matchups Maryland has yet to face. At times, the focus seemed to lapse and the intensity wasn't high at all, which is what leads to poor defense. The Terps don't shoot at a high clip from the field, so defense will be crucial heading forward, and if this game is a sign of things to come, this could be a long conference season for Maryland. It is tough to pinpoint one person as a poor defender with the entire unit struggling on that end. The Terps will have to shoot better, or start playing tougher, more consistent defense if they want to win more games.
Shooting continues to be a problem.
The Terps haven't blazed the nets in recent years, and that trend has continued this season. Coming into the year, many believed the shooting would improve with the addition of Evan Smotrycz and the progression of sophomores Jake Layman and Seth Allen, but that has not been the case so far, especially in the past two games. Against Florida St, the Terps shot just 17-51, good for 33%. Considering the Seminoles finished with 16 made threes, this is obviously not good. It is easy to see why the focus in recruiting for 2014 was shooting, with Romelo Trimble, Dion Wiley and Jared Nickens all being shooters from the outside.
Leadership seems to be an issue.
This is obviously from the outside-looking-in, but leadership doesn't seem evident on this team. This is not to say a player like Dez Wells isn't doing everything he can to share his knowledge and experience with his teammates, but no one is getting upset and rallying his teammates around to lead the team back into games when getting down. Players seem to sink their heads and look lost when things begin to go wrong, and no one is yelling and hollering to get their teammates spirits up. Wells is the leader, but even he seemed a bit miffed when things went wrong Sunday. It is tough to get rowdy when things go wrong, but a player has to step up emotionally to not let the team get down. Whether it is Seth Allen, Dez Wells, Jake Layman or anyone, someone has to step up and lead the team emotionally when the times are tough.
- Dez Wells went only 3-4 from the field, but showed aggression, getting to the line for 10 free throws,
- Seth Allen cooled down, going 0-8 from the field. He scored one point on one free throw on two attempts.
- Nick Faust went 5-7 from the field, scoring 14 points. He has been better as of late after a rough patch in the season.
- The big men continued to underwhelm, notching a combined three points between Jonathan Graham, Charles Mitchell and Shaquille Cleare.