Maryland managed to beat Penn State, but the game was too close for comfort. To add to the unease, Melo Trimble continued to struggle to score. Have teams figured out how to neutralize his offense?
Pete - We'll find out more Sunday. Maryland has to play a very tough Iowa team, and the Terps really need a bounce-back game with their recent struggles. I lean more towards attributing the recent struggles to just a slump, but we'll see how they finish the year out.
Brian - I would say it is more of a law of averages. Trimble and Maryland overall were playing at a higher level than anyone ever expected. It is not, to me, a huge surprise that they have come back down to earth slightly over the past few weeks. Just have to hope they get out of the skid sooner than later.
Noah - He's a freshman. He's going to have some good games and some bad games. Until he finds that level of consistency, Maryland will be playing in these types of close games. I think it's more about him than other teams figuring out ways to stop him but Wisconsin will probably have the best answer. They may provide a blueprint of sorts to other teams if they can stop him.
Todd - I'm going with a combination of factors. Clearly, teams have scouted and that's part of it. Now he and his coach have to counter. I think the lack of production from Maryland's inside players has let teams feel comfortable doubling off whichever "big" is in the game and forcing him to pass. A few more games like Graham had against PSU and we could see that change. I think he's definitely wearing down. Trimble has played nearly 90 more minutes than anyone on the team (762 to Layman's 674). That's a big ask for a freshman. His body language at the end of the PSU game looked like someone struggling to convince himself that he could push through to the end of the game. As Noah notes, he's a freshman and only the rarest of the rare don't have stretches like this.
Dez Wells had his best game since returning from his earlier wrist injury. Can Wells carry the team until Trimble gets back on track?
Pete - In certain situations, yes. Dez Wells is the ideal player to have on your roster when no one else is hitting their shots, and as Maryland continues to struggle, he has the ability to keep them in the game by himself. Ideally, however, the other guys pick up their game soon and allow his role to shrink a little.
Brian - Yes and no. Dez certainly has the ability to carry the team on his back. We kind of saw this against OSU and earlier in the season against ISU and ASU. Him and Melo essentially won the game themselves at MSU as well. Wells just has to be careful not to acquire a Kobe Bryant complex. He has to remain aware of the fact that there are other capable players on the floor with him and not force up contested/poor shots.
Noah - Maryland will need serious production from him, but he will need help as well. He can't do it by himself. If he can drive and kick out to Maryland's shooters, then the Terps are playing the kind of basketball that got them to this point. They can't become a one-on-one isolation team.
Todd - If you're talking two or three games and it's necessary, sure. Especially if the performances are akin to what he did against PSU. Anytime you have 23 points on 10 shots, you're playing under control. Why not ask that about Jon Graham? Doesn't it take some of the burden off Wells if he scores 16 a game. (I'm not foolish enough to think that's a real possibility, but my point is that someone else made a huge offensive contribution and that allowed Dez to "carry" the team in a very controlled way.)
Turgeon either made some adjustments at halftime, or peeled some paint off the walls (or both!) to get the Terps focused for the second half. Do you think Turgeon is a good enough tactician to stay on top of the shifting sands of the Big Ten?
Pete - Yes.
Brian - Barring an absolute collapse, Turgeon probably has secured himself a few more years in College Park. In reference to the question specifically, I do not know. To me, it is too early to tell.
Noah - I think his guys play harder for him than his other teams did and that is the big difference. The jury is still out on that because he hasn't made the NCAA tournament yet and we still have to see how this team performs if they make it.
Todd - I'm not sure how to answer this. Are you asking about "shifting sands" because you think other Big Ten coaches will consistently shift to better adjustments than Turgeon? Maybe it's a simple fact that Maryland is a somewhat more talented team than people expected and one that played with a lot of confidence early in the season. But they're young, facing a grind of a season, and have had the confidence that propelled them to early-expectation lifting wins, undermined by some very discouraging losses. Maybe it's more a matter of psychology than tactics.
Maryland put the wraps on their 2015 recruiting class earlier this week. Signing Day itself was a bit of a letdown, with no unexpected commitments. On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with the 2015 class?
Pete - I'll give it a 6.5. It's a solid haul that addresses most of their needs, but it's still underwhelming. This was expected and should help clear room for the 2016 class, but it's not a great haul. There are some very good players -- Adam McLean, Quarvez Boulware and D.J. Moore should all have major impacts soon, for instance -- but 2016 is the hope.
Brian - I generally try to avoid talking about UMD football because, to me, they are always a disappointment and I have grown moderately indifferent to their success over the past decade. With that being said, I will rank it a 5, right in the middle, much like the ranking of their 2015 recruiting class (kind of) because that is about the best you can expect the Maryland Terrapins football team to achieve...the middle.
Noah - They lost Prince and Locksley and Robinson like they thought they would. They only signed one quarterback who is nowhere near ready to come in and compete for the job. I will give them a 5 as well. This wasn't a terrible class but it certainly wasn't a great one.
Todd - Fifteen. That's five from Brian, five from Noah, and five from me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to have my Movement.
It's probably too early to tell, but which 2015 recruit do you think will contribute the most as a freshman?
Pete - Nick Rubinowicz.
Brian-Steve Suter? I don't really know, I would assume Boulware since he was the most regarded of the class and the OL is the most important cog of the offense and it wouldn't make much sense to waste OL talent on the sideline.
Noah - Tough to say. The Terps have shown they are not afraid to redshirt blue-chip offensive lineman so Boulware might sit but why not use him when you have two blue-chippers to put with him? I'm with Brian on this one. I'd like to see what D.J. Moore can do now that the departure of Diggs and Long has opened up some space in the wide receiving corps.
Todd - I think Pete wrote this story and I unabashedly defer to him on all football matters.