In a competitive game all the way through, the Maryland Terrapins fell just short in their quest to upset the Virginia Cavaliers. While there is still much up for debate after this game, there are a lot of positives as well to take from this performance, some of which that are not visible to the naked eye at this point. The fact remains, however, that the Terps are 14-11 overall and 6-6 in their final ACC season, something coach Mark Turgeon thought would be improved. With that being said, here are the three reactions to the loss at Virginia.
Even with the loss, the Terps battled tough in a game many gave them no chance.
It is tough to see past the loss right now, but the Terps battled with the Cavaliers, and while there is no consolation prize, this is a vastly different result than what the Terps were rolling out there a few weeks ago. Against Pitt, Florida State (the first game) and beyond, the Terps seemed to roll over and accept defeat. Whether they actually rolled over or not is neither here nor there, the fact remains that this was a different result. While the fans want wins now, the Terps have shown they are competing and working to win these games. Progress is being made, even though the final results are still the same. This is not a reaction to be happy-go-lucky and dismiss what resulted in another loss, but the competitiveness of the team cannot be downplayed. Hopefully, the results will become better in the future, but for now, this is, at the very least, a step in the right direction. Not many, if any, expected the Terps to pull off the upset, but those same people likely didn't think the Terps would compete the way they did.
The deficiencies still need to be worked out for this team, and they are obvious, but the steps are being made. This team hasn't checked out on the season, and that is good to see. They are still battling tough, even though there is nearly no chance at the NCAA tournament.
Evan Smotrycz disappears in the second half again.
At the halftime break, Evan Smotrycz had eight points and he was off to a good start at the beginning of the game. However, he completely disappeared from the scoring column the rest of the way, and that is a piece that the Terps could have used to pull out a victory. With Jake Layman going out due to an eye injury, the Terps lost one of their shooting options, meaning Smotrycz needed to step up, and when he was needed most, he could not convert. That is not a dagger thrown at Smotrycz, as some of his shots simply rimmed out. There is no clear reason as to why Smotrycz has seemed to struggle scoring in the second half, but the pattern is clear. Smotrycz is in a slump, it seems, and he is not finding his way out of it. Whether it is believed by the masses or not, he is an integral part of this team, and they depend on him to hit from the outside to help the slashers get to the basket.
It will be interesting to see how Smotrycz handles this heading forward. He seems to come out firing early in games, and struggle later in games. There is no clear-cut answer, so it isn't fair to conjure answers at this point. All Terps fans can do is hope things improve, for the sake of the team.
Roddy Peters is lacking confidence.
Roddy Peters was expected to get heavy minutes this season with him being the only true point guard on the roster. While Seth Allen takes the point guard position, he is more of a scorer than a point guard. The Terps need a point guard, and Peters is simply not ready for this level yet. Whether it is his poor play, or the lack of minutes he has seen as of late, Peters is lacking confidence within himself, and it is hurting not only his play, but the team. With the lack of depth at the position, he is needed for fresh legs off of the bench, but if he is only hurting the team while on the floor, it is better to keep him on the bench. Long-term, however, this is not good for the team, nor is it good for Seth Allen, who needs fresh legs late in games. This is a situation to monitor heading forward.
- Shaq Cleare hurt his shoulder in the game, but should be okay heading forward. Certainly a situation worth monitoring moving forward into the Duke game.
- After a bad shot, Nick Faust settled in for a solid game, going 3-5 from the field for nine points.
- Dez Wells scored 12 points, but only went 4-11 from the field.
- The Terps only shot eight free throws in a game they forced only 11 personal fouls. The Terps had 19 personal fouls.
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