Maryland men’s basketball suffered its first loss of the season Friday, 64-61, against Davidson in the first game of the Asheville Championship. The Terps will play in the third-place game on Sunday against the loser of Clemson vs. UAB.
Here are some takeaways from the game.
Julian Reese received much of Davidson’s defensive attention
Julian Reese was dominant in the Terps’ season-opening win over Mount St. Mary’s, tallying 18 points and eight rebounds, both of which were team-highs. He had a clear physical advantage and used it to dominate in the paint.
Davidson took note and entered Friday’s game with a clear defensive gameplan — stop Reese by any means necessary.
He was doubled anytime he got the ball, which often resulted in either a turnover or a pass out. Reese’s post-ups were compromised, and thus his seven made shots were either assisted or came off an offensive rebound.
Reese still finished the game with 16 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks. Additionally, he could’ve added a few assists if his teammates were able to knock down open shots which were created after he drew multiple defenders into the paint.
Either way, his ability to withstand immense defensive attention for the most part was a bright spot in a relatively disappointing loss for the Terps.
A lopsided 3-point shooting battle
Maryland shot 32.8% from three last season, but have yet to reach just the 30% mark in its first two games this year.
In Tuesday’s game, the Terps went 3-for-16 from three, yet decided to shoot more against Davidson, and finished the game 5-for-23 from deep. Jahmir Young was the only Terp to knock down threes at an efficient rate, making half of his six attempts.
Whether or not Maryland will continue this frequency remains a major question for head coach Kevin Willard.
Meanwhile, Davidson shot 8-for-15 from three, headlined by freshman Bobby Durkin, who shot 4-for-5 from deep, including the eventual game-winner.
Willard made a continuous effort to limit three pointers against Mount St. Mary’s, who shot 2-for-12 against the Terps, but could not produce a similar result Friday.
Maryland’s freshmen struggled
Following impressive debuts, both DeShawn Harris-Smith and Jamie Kaiser Jr. struggled against Davidson.
Against Mount St. Mary’s, Harris-Smith tallied 12 points on an efficient 4-for-6 from the field, four rebounds, two steals and a block. Kaiser showed promise as well, knocking down shots with confidence en route to a five-point, three-rebound performance.
Friday was a different story, though, as the two shot a combined 2-for-12 from the field and 0-for-6 from three. Kaiser saw just 11 minutes of action.
However, up-and-down performances are expected for freshmen, as they continue to adjust to the pace and physicality of college basketball.