To many Maryland basketball fans, Thursday’s loss at Purdue probably felt like a recurring bad dream.
The dream started with 4:20 remaining, when Jalen Smith hit a jumper, the last field goal either team would hit in the entire game. It ended with Nojel Eastern blocking Anthony Cowan Jr.’s desperation three-pointer as time expired that was preceded by multiple frustrating possessions on the offensive end.
The Terps have ended games like this before, particularly last season. In seemingly every close game, whether it was a sloppy turnover, a costly offensive rebound or a poor final play, Maryland came up short.
In Mackey Arena, the Terps stuck to that script. A fast and promising start quickly turned into a defensive battle. Maryland never took advantage of the numerous defensive stops late in the game, with Cowan hoisting up near-impossible threes as the shot clock ran out. Head coach Mark Turgeon said postgame the team needs to get more out-of-bounds plays in, which is a defensible statement for a young team still learning to play together, but not for one that had extra practices this offseason because of a trip to Italy.
To start the season and for parts of Thursday’s game, it looked like a better team because of that trip. Maryland won the rebounding battle again, and by a sizeable margin. It scrapped and hustled to fight for loose balls. Carsen Edwards, who came into the year as a National Player of the Year candidate, never took over the game and went 4-of-15 from the field.
But despite all that, it didn’t make a difference in the end. For the ninth time in their past 12 road games, the Terps will return to College Park with a bad feeling in their stomachs.
In other news
It’s the Alabama offensive coordinator’s “dream job,” writes The Baltimore Sun’s Jonas Shaffer.
Maryland soccer plays Indiana in the College Cup semifinals tonight. The Washington Post’s Steven Goff has a nice story on junior centerback Donovan Pines, who helps save goals and frogs.
Believe it or not, lacrosse season is right around the corner. Inside Lacrosse has the Maryland men No. 3 in its annual Faceoff Yearbook.
Maryland basketball alum Jake Layman scored a career-high 24 points in the Trailblazers’ 108-86 win over the Suns.