Welcome back to the Testudo Times Film Room. Maryland men’s basketball’s road woes continued Friday as the team took a crushing 67-49 loss to Iowa.
The Terps looked sloppy and quite frankly terrible on both ends throughout this game, and once they let Iowa take control with a 21-4 run in the first half, it felt like they had no chance to come back.
Road teams are currently 5-32 in the Big Ten, so the loss is not the end of the world for the Terps, but their lack of effort and preparedness in parts of this game were certainly concerning.
Let’s take a look at the impact plays that cost Maryland the game.
Poor offensive execution was a key factor in the loss
This play was in the midst of Iowa’s big run in which it took complete control of the game. Had the Terps converted, maybe that run doesn’t extend as long as it did. Darryl Morsell brought the ball up in transition and had the opportunity to dish it to Chol Marial for what looked like an easy bucket.
Marial, however, looked completely lost on this play and was not ready at all for the ball, which led to a turnover. During his now four games with the Terps, Marial has usually provided a nice spark defensively, but his offense still looks a long ways away as he continues to adjust after not playing consistently for two years.
Aaron Wiggins has struggled throughout this season offensively, particularly from deep, but his game against Iowa might have been rock bottom. The talented, but struggling sophomore only played 17 minutes and recorded zero points on 0-for-4 shooting from the field.
On this play, Anthony Cowan Jr. did a great job of finding a wide open Wiggins, who snuck past the Iowa defense to get open in the corner. If the sophomore is going to turn his season around, these are shots he is going to have to start hitting.
On this play, Morsell made a great steal and got the Terps out in transition. After the takeaway, he had plenty of opportunities to kick it off to Cowan, who was running beside him. Instead, he lost his handle and consequently ended the fast break. The play ended with the Terps going stagnant on offense and Donta Scott chucking up a missed three-point attempt.
Morsell’s tough day continued on offense later in the second half. He had multiple aggressive drives to the hoop in this half that could have maybe turned the tide in this game and led to a Maryland comeback effort, but he just couldn’t convert.
This was very uncharacteristic of the junior, who has developed into a really nice finisher around the rim, even in traffic. These woes should not continue for Morsell, but were a big reason why Maryland could not get anything going in the comeback department.
Lack of effort on defense was a major issue
On this play, the Hawkeyes got out into transition and were able to find Joe Wieskamp for an easy bucket. Maryland had plenty of men back on this play, and it’s hard to find a reason why he had such an open shot attempt.
The only Maryland defender who looked somewhat interested in making a play here was Scott. Eric Ayala and Morsell were both around and easily could have made an attempt to block or alter the shot. But instead, they had their hands down and watched as Wieskamp put in the easy bucket.
Wieskamp killed the Terps all night long. The sharpshooting guard put up a team-high — and career-high — 26 points and could not be stopped from downtown. A 42.4 percent shooter from three-point range a season ago and 39.6 percent shooter from deep this year, he’s one of the best shooters in the nation, and the Terps just were not ready for him at all.
Time and time again, Wieskamp had open looks from deep and he made Maryland pay most of the time. The guard is fourth in the Big Ten in three-point attempts and the Terps need to be ready to play him out on the wing when Iowa comes to College Park on Jan. 30.
Jalen Smith made some really nice plays down low
While 95 percent of this game was ugly for the Terps, Jalen Smith did show some nice moves in the post during the second half. He finished the game with a team-high 13 points and was one of the few positives from the loss.
Going up against one of the best bigs in the conference in Luka Garza, Smith showed no fear. He backed him down on this play and was able to convert a really nice layup off the glass.
Smith did it again later in the half also against Garza. He got the ball from Cowan, took one power dribble, absorbed the contact and finished with the converted baby hook shot.
Smith has been inconsistent throughout this season when it comes to scoring in the paint, but he looked strong and aggressive through spurts of this game. On a night where nothing was falling for the Terps from the perimeter, it would have been nice to see them feed the sophomore a little more to chip away at the big Iowa lead.