Maryland opened the new men's basketball season with an 82-48 romp against Wagner last night. We had some notes - and collected some quotes - about their year-opening performance.
It was the first game in what Maryland is hoping will be an illustrious career for freshman point guard Melo Trimble. He never entirely got going, though his 13 points on 3-of-8 shooting are nothing to sniff at in a career debut. Here's Mark Turgeon on Trimble's opening act:
"He started out kind of slow. He missed a free throw and missed a couple of floaters that he normally makes. He had a couple of threes. He never got in rhythm. It was tough. They pressured him and did a good job. We didn't handle their pressure at all times very well; we didn't handle it great all the time. But he was good. I think the expectations are off the charts for him, so if you look at that, you'd say, ‘Boy, a young guy doing that his first official game, that's pretty good,' and that's kind of the way I look at it."
The rest of Maryland's freshmen - Dion Wiley, Jared Nickens and Michal Cekovsky - also debuted. That group combined for 16 points and 6 rebounds. Both Nickens and Wiley hit their first career three-pointers. Here's Turgeon on the freshman class's start:
"I thought everybody played pretty well. You know, Jared hit some big shots. Dion handled the ball for us at times. I thought Dion defended well. He took on a challenge, always tried to guard the best player on their team and guard him. I thought he got better defensively as the game went on. Jared was Jared. Jared got better as the game went on, hit some big shots in the first half for us. And I thought Ceko got better."
Dez Wells sprained his left ankle on a drive toward the hoop at the end of the first half. That isn't as serious as it sounds; Wells has a wonky ankle in general, and it flares up from time to time. Still, it was unsettling to see him fall to the hardwood in such pain. Wells returned to the game in the second half and sounded just fine afterward:
"I was fine. I’m made of steel. I don’t break … If you sprain it enough, after a while, you don’t even feel it. But I felt that one a lot."
Richaud Pack played 24 minutes, many of them at point guard. The senior transfer guard hadn't played the one-guard position since high school until this preseason, but he looked comfortable and had an efficient 8 points and 6 rebounds. He fired two three-pointers and made both of them in his own Maryland debut. He spoke after the game:
"I've been pretty comfortable. [Turgeon's] given me a lot of reps in practice and allowed me to practice it a lot. I've gotten more comfortable as the summer has went on - I've been playing it all summer. Once I get the ball out of my hands, it's pretty much everyone's interchangeable. It's just getting it up the court."
The star of the game for Maryland was Jake Layman. The junior forward had 16 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists, spending much of the evening playing at power forward. The usual disclaimers apply about facing poor competition, but Layman was impressive from the opening tip (which he secured for Maryland) to the final buzzer. He spoke to the media after the game, too:
"I think when you're getting other guys going, I think the game kind of comes to you a little more, and I think that's what happened tonight."