Maryland men’s basketball dropped its Big Ten opener to Purdue at the Xfinity Center on Friday, nearly completing a 14-point comeback before falling to the Boilermakers, 80-75.
It gives the Terps their third loss in the last four games, though they only turned the ball over seven times and won the rebounding battle 37-34.
Maryland's Mark Turgeon addresses the media, after the Terps drop their Big Ten opener. https://t.co/BF7zdbSyIL— Testudo Times (@testudotimes) December 2, 2017
“We weren’t ready defensively to play,” head coach Mark Turgeon said. “The speed of the game, the way they ran their offense was too much for us. And [Isaac] Haas was terrific at the start, and we just kind of dug ourselves a hole.”
The Boilermakers played in the World University games over the summer, and are looking months ahead of the Terps, in terms of execution.
“They got their February playbook in already,” Turgeon said. “They got a lot of plays in. It’s hard for a normal team to have that many in. And they’re a veteran team, too. They were just much further along, and they executed a really high level, and they’re well coached. We just weren’t ready at the start and got behind. I love the way we finished the half, love the way we started the second half and I love the way we battled. They’re just further along than we are at this point.”
Despite shooting just 35 percent to Purdue’s 51 percent, Maryland had a shot to tie the game in the final minute. Jared Nickens got a good look at the shot, but it fell short.
“Well, it’s funny because I go... ‘Kevin [Huerter], I want to run it.’ I said, ‘I’m going to run it for you,’” Turgeon said of the play call. “And he’s like, ‘They’re going to know it’s coming to me, Coach. Run it for Jared.’ And Jared was 2-for-3 at the time—Jared’s hit a lot of big shots in his career for us. And got a wide open look. I don’t know if we would’ve got a wide open look if we ran it for Kevin.”