While setting up my camera to go to work, I didn't know what to expect from this first game. Though Maryland beat SNHU last week, that was nothing compared to the feeling of the game. It was 6:30, and it was freezing cold, but my veins were pumping with adrenaline. This Maryland team had its first season game. The season, which we have all been waiting for, was finally here.
Walking through the player tunnel, I literally almost bumped into the giant team huddle that was happening right in front of me. The boys were laughing, smiling and jumping, and though I was almost escorted out by security, I couldn't help but see their excitement. It matched their fellow students, and they were ready to bring on their biggest game to Mount St. Mary's.
Once Diamond Stone won the jump, everything was moving so fast. Maryland had all of these great chances, highlighted by Jake Layman's screaming dunk. However, the first half was infested with turnovers and field goal by the Mount. I wasn't surprised; it was the first game of the season and the players are going to be a bit shaky and excited to really calm down.
I was incredibly impressed with the performance of Jake Layman. The 6'10" guard was incredibly comfortable out there. Along with his slam dunk, he was the factor that lead Maryland to an 80-56 win. It was Layman's 16 points, along with Trimble's 14, that was the deciding factor in the game. Not only did he bring on the offense, he played excellent defense and was very vocal on the court.
It's exciting to hear them talking amongst each other on the court; you hear things that usually look silent when watching the game on TV or even from the nosebleeds.
Overall, Diamond is brand new to NCAA basketball, and his teammates and coach are helping him adjust in a constructive way that I have never seen before. This is by far the best team I have seen in any sport in years.
If I find more pictures, I will post them on my Twitter page, but for now, enjoy these shots. I'll see you guys after Women's Basketball today.