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Testudo Times Roundtable

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Testudo Times staff writers and contributors gather to talk men and women's basketball, national signing day, and "The Unicorn".

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Testudo Times Roundtable

Week of 2/1

Q: Maryland edged No. 3 Iowa last week at home to extend their Big 10 home winning streak to 25 games. What were your initial thoughts on the game?

Brian Bohrer: If Maryland knocked down a few wide open three point shots in the second half I may have a few less grey hairs on my head, but it would be pretty critical of me to really complain about a victory against a top 5 team. Jake Layman's defensive effort against Jarrod Uthoff was astonishing, and more than enough to forgive him for his poor shooting night. Jarrod Uthoff only scored 9 points, the first time he didn't reach double digits all season and that is one of the primary reasons the Terps found themselves on the winning side of things.

Andrew K.: Good, hard-working performance by the Terps. Layman and Carter's defensive efforts on Uthoff was the difference maker.  It also felt good to get the "Maryland hasn't beaten anyone good" monkey off our backs. I think it raised Maryland's profile from hyped team to legitimate national title contender in many people's minds.

Noah: It was an exciting back and forth game. I thought that Maryland didn't take advantage of some opportunities to extend their lead and put the game away, but, all in all, it was a great effort from the team.

Todd: My initial thought was, "Phew! The Terps finally have that signature win." Then I thought, "I'm glad Maryland doesn't have to go to Iowa City this season." My final quick succession though was, "I'm so happy no one got poked in the eye."

Justin: It was a solid win. Maryland went cold in the second half, but played great defense. Whether Mark Turgeon wanted to say it or not, it was a must win game for the Terps, who didn't have a signature win on their resume.

Q: The Terps won a nail-biter at Ohio State over the weekend thanks in large part to Jake Layman's 16 points and 10 rebounds. What did you think of his performance?

Brian Bohrer: It should silence some of his critics, but it is the critic's job to be overly analytical about everything and I'm sure they'll find his assist to turnover ratio (1:1) rather disturbing.

Bartley: Seeing Jake being able to get this double/double is exciting.  Hopefully he continues to play at this level and a lot will depend on the Coach's game plan and what that means for Jake.

Andrew K.: I think we can retire the term "Cupcake Jake". During the last few games, particularly the last two, he's been arguably our best all-around player. I like how he's driving to the basket and also scoring near the rim, rather than just standing on the baseline waiting for an open three.

Noah: I love seeing Jake Layman attack the basket. He had a great game. That alley-oop from Sulaimon was also a season highlight for him.

Todd: I thought this was a solid game for Jake and realized that his antagonists on TT would now start complaining because he doesn't do this every game.

Justin: As someone who was skeptical of Layman early in the season, he has started to grow on me. He had another solid performance on Sunday, which was impressive considering the quick turnaround. He may not score as much as the commenters on this site like, but he does a lot of the things that casual fans don't notice, like playing excellent defense and fighting for rebounds.

Q: National Signing Day is finally behind us. What are your thoughts on Maryland's recruiting class?

Brian Bohrer: As things begin to settle it looks like this year's recruiting class will rank in a similar position to where it has for many, many years. I am impressed with what Durkin was able to do in his abbreviated tenure here thus far, and was glad to see them rebound slightly from some disappointing de-commits. However, like always, the Terps aren't going to beat anyone with a massive advantage in the talent department, it will all come down to how they manage the talent that they do have.

Andrew K.: Like Brain, I'll wait until the dust is settled. I don't expect the final results to be stellar, more like middle of the pack.

Noah: I've liked what I've seen thus far. Obviously, rankings only tell you so much. These kids have to adjust to the college game in a very difficult division in a very difficult conference.

Todd: The day isn't quite over as I write this. Maryland is sitting at number 42 overall and number 7 in the B1G on 247 and that's with no ratings for Brooks and Goldbourne. I think this staff has done a really solid job given the time they had and the constraints (dead period) they faced. I'm very excited to see a number of DeMatha guys signed and to see a possible Florida pipeline opening up.

Justin: D.J.Durkin has done a solid job bringing in talent during his limited time here, as well as keeping some of the players who had already committed. I think the signings of top local players as well as the myriad of Florida commitments shows the type of recruiter he is. He wants to go after top talent, and isn't afraid to push Maryland's recruiting boundaries.

Q: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough dropped 41 points on Purdue, the second-most ever scored in a game by a Maryland women's basketball player. Is this something or nothing?

Brian Bohrer: I am sure if you asked Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, she would be more satisfied with picking up another victory, rather than focusing on her own individual achievements. However, this is definitely something. Scoring 40 points in a basketball game is a feat at any level.

Bartley: I agree with Brian. Scoring more than 30 in a game is something let alone 41. Great going.

Noah: This is definitely something considering she only missed the scoring record by ONE POINT! Marissa Coleman put up 42 on Vandy in the Sweet 16 in March of 2009. SWK is explosive, and, if she continues to shoot the ball with confidence, Maryland might be in the mix to win the national title.

Todd: Great for Shatori and congratulations to her. It was one of those nights when the basket must have looked huge.She made 17 of 21 shots and only one three point basket. That's remarkable efficiency. Going off script a bit, I was more troubled by the fact that Purdue closed to within seven with under seven minutes to play and that Brenda shortened the bench so much that they saw about a third of the playing time they normally see. With two very tough games upcoming (#17 MSU at home on Friday and at #8 Ohio State Monday), that's a bit of a concern.

Justin: Definitely something. I saw her game against High Point earlier this year when she scored her previous career high of 26, and wondered how much she could put up if she played the whole game. She is an explosive player, and like Noah said, if she continues to have confidence in her shot , this team could go a long way in March.

Q: The Maryland women's lacrosse team was the unanimous pick to win the Big Ten, and fell one vote shy of being the unanimous preseason No. 1 team in both the media and coaches polls. Considering that Maryland will play 11 ranked teams in the regular season, many of them on the road, do you think that the Terps will go wire-to-wire as the nation's No. 1 team?

Brian Bohrer: I feel as if I have answered this question before. I believe last time I said it would be quite difficult for the Maryland women's lacrosse to remain the number one ranked team throughout the duration of the entire season, and I am going to stick with that.

Bartley: Being the preseason number 1 is great, but once the season begins, we shall see who is the true number one. With several away games, it will put a strain on any team. I hope it is the Terps, but we shall see.

Noah: I am on record as saying that I don't think Maryland will go wire-to-wire but will win the national title. I'm sticking with that too.

Todd: This season will put some stress on the phenomenal win-loss record of the McDonogh kids. I'd be shocked if the Terps can run the table and they would probably have to do that to hold on to the number one rank through the season.

Justin: Not really a lacrosse fan, but I know it is incredibly hard to go wire-to-wire in any sport. Maryland will probably drop a game or two during the season, but will find themselves in contention for the national title.

Q: Maryland baseball pitcher Mike Shawaryn, Maryland's all-time wins leader, picked up another preseason first-team All-America honor, this time from Baseball America. Will you be heading to a Maryland baseball game this season to see "The Unicorn"in action?

Brian Bohrer: I have intended to go to a Maryland baseball game for the past several years, but the season is so short (relatively speaking) that I always end up letting the opportunity pass me by. Perhaps this will be the year I get out to see a game. With a player nicknamed ‘the Unicorn' it would be pretty irresponsible of me not to make it out this year. Speaking of responsibility, I am curious to know if they plan on letting the beer flow free at Shipley as well.

Andrew K.: If you haven't been to a baseball game at Bob "Turtle" Smith stadium, by all means get yourself out to one this season. The Unicorn will be Maryland's "Friday Night Starter", and the stands should be packed with major league scouts. The Terps are projected to battle for the B1G title, and I'll have more in my season preview series starting next week.

Noah: Andrew K. and I are in complete agreement. You need to watch him pitch. Shawaryn has fantastic stuff. He has played for Team USA, and will be one of the best pitchers in the nation again this season. I'm interested to see how he handles the pressure of expectations and whether or not he can lead Maryland past the NCAA Super Regionals.

Todd: Why would this year be different from all other years?

Justin: I've never seen Shawaryn pitch before, but I'm looking forward to attending some games and hopefully seeing him pitch.