Maryland basketball is off to a 1-0 start thanks to a 15-point victory over Stony Brook on Friday night. The Terps took a 41-23 lead into halftime, then cruised to a 76-61 win.
The score looks quite similar to the 77-63 final score when these teams met in College Park last year. But Maryland has a new core this season, and this was the first official look at how things would shake out.
Here’s what each of us learned about the 2017-18 Terps from one night’s streaming.
Season 2 of Justin Jackson is off to a strong start.
Thomas: After testing the NBA Draft waters and deciding to return, Jackson looks like a much more physical player in his sophomore campaign. He picked up his third career double-double, finishing with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Fellow sophomores Anthony Cowan and Kevin Huerter led Maryland with 15 and 13 points, respectively, but Jackson made perhaps the biggest statement off the bat. In Maryland’s dominant first half, he led the way with nine points and eight boards.
Jackson ended the night just 4-of-11 from the floor and went 0-for-4 from deep, so there’s still room for a more complete performance. But moving to small forward hasn’t made him any less of an inside presence on either end of the floor. In 30 minutes Friday night, the sophomore gave Maryland fans reason to be excited about his year to come.
Maryland has some depth.
Lamar: The Terps were able to get at least four points from nine players, highlighted by five players scoring in double figures. It also was able to squeeze three rebounds out of six separate players. Maryland had four big men get two fouls in the first half, and Turgeon was still able to bring in the 6’9 Joshua Tomaic as relief. If this game is any indication, this is a team with a lot of different weapons.
Freshmen Darryl Morsell and Bruno Fernando highlighted the bench unit, accounting for 14 of Maryland’s 23 bench points. Sean Obi was able to add four points and three rebounds in just six minutes, but racked up three fouls in no time. Dion Wiley was the first person off the Terps bench, hitting the team’s first three of the season and finishing with five points.
Bruno Fernando will be fun to watch, but will need some fine tuning.
Jared: The freshman was entertaining Friday night, scoring 10 points in only 13 minutes, including a couple highlight-reel dunks. As exciting as it was to finally see him on the floor—he sat out Maryland Madness and the team’s exhibition game—there are clearly a few things he’ll have to iron out as the season progresses.
Fernando looked tired at times, which caused a handful of short jump shots to hit the front of the rim. His fatigue may also have caused him to commit a few bad fouls, as he picked up three in his short time on the floor.
None of this is really cause for alarm, though. A freshman having tired legs early isn’t entirely uncommon, and Fernando missed some time he could have spent conditioning with a sprained ankle. Come conference play, it shouldn’t be surprising for him to be throwing down dunks and making those jump shots.