Welcome back to the Testudo Times film room. No. 15 Maryland men’s basketball moved to 2-1 in the Big Ten and 12-2 on the season with a 75-59 win against Indiana on Saturday.
The Terps were not particularly strong shooting the ball, but excelled on the defensive end, forcing 14 Indiana turnovers. Maryland also held onto the ball on the offensive end, only committing seven turnovers — a part of the game that has killed Maryland recently. The Terps were led by a superb effort offensively from star forward Jalen “Stix” Smith, and also received big contributions from the rest of the starting five.
Let’s take a look at all of Smith’s contributions and the rest of the impact plays from the Terps’ win.
Jalen Smith looked like a force offensively
Smith did it all offensively Saturday, scoring inside and outside while looking like one of the most dominant big men in the conference. On this play, Smith and Anthony Cowan Jr. run a high pick and pop play, which Smith converted for three points.
It has been clear throughout Smith’s time with Maryland that he is far more comfortable with pick-and-pop action, rather than pick-and-roll. Smith was 2-for-3 on the day from deep and now sits at 32.1 percent from long range on the season, a 5.3 percent increase from his 26.8 percent clip from a season ago.
If Smith can continue to improve his shot from three-point land, the pick-and-pop action with Cowan could become a deadly option for Maryland.
On the very next play, Smith did it again, converting another pick-and-pop three-point attempt. On this version of the play, Smith did not like his initial look so he kicked it Aaron Wiggins. Smith then set another screen and found himself wide open in the corner for an easy look.
Maryland’s spacing and movement on this play was perfect. Smith’s quick moves on the perimeter made the difference, throwing off his big man defender, who looked lost. Smith’s comfort on the perimeter could create a nice mismatch for him against bigger defenders who are more used to playing down low.
This was maybe the play of the game for Smith, and one that Terp fans have been clamoring for from him all season. Smith got a tough offensive rebound, took a power dribble, and then went up strong to convert the put-back and draw a foul.
What was most impressive on this play was Smith’s ability to do all of this with just three seconds left on the shot clock. Whether Smith knew that the shot clock did not reset or not, his timing was perfect on this play.
Smith finished the day 19 points, eight rebounds and a block on 6-10 shooting from the field.
Other Standout Plays
Wiggins continued to look more aggressive offensively, scoring in double figures in his fourth game in a row. On this play, the Terps ran a double screen for Wiggins coming off of a curl.
While the sophomore has been more aggressive offensively, his three-point numbers continue to struggle, shooting 1-for-5 from deep during this game. The sophomore guard now sits at 29.9 percent from deep on the season, down from 41.3 percent a season ago. If he can keep getting open looks like he did on the play above, the shots have to start falling at some point for Wiggins.
Wiggins has now created a reputation for himself with emphatic dunks. This play was the latest monster slam for him in a season filled with them.
This play had some basic movement around the perimeter to start, but Wiggins’ athleticism and explosiveness were the story here. His quick first step allowed him to take his defender all the way to the cup and finish with authority.
Wiggins finished the game with 13 points and eight rebounds on 4-for-10 shooting from the field.
Darryl Morsell has struggled offensively during Maryland’s past few games, but he looked very impressive in this win. Cowan is often thought of as the Terps’ best finisher around the rim, but Morsell can give him a run for his money, as shown on this play.
Smith set a high screen for Morsell, but it didn’t create much separation for Morsell. The junior from Baltimore went strong to the hoop and was able to finish in traffic here, helping Maryland extend its lead in the first half.
Morsell is viewed by many as the glue guy for this team and the anchor of the Terps’ defense, which looked incredibly strong against Indiana. He was all over the place on this play defensively, recovering from one screen to the next, but was able to get a steal and get the Terps out in transition.
The steal created a three-on-one for the Terps, and Morsell was able to finish a tough shot and create an and-one opportunity. Morsell finished the day with 12 points, three rebounds and a steal on 4-for-8 shooting from the field.
Maryland forced 14 turnovers against the Hoosiers and was able to convert a lot of them into buckets at the other end. On this play, Donta Scott did it all, in his second consecutive solid showing.
Scott rushed back in transition on defense and was able to get in the passing lane and force the steal. The freshman from Philadelphia filled his lane perfectly, following Cowan, and was able to throw down a big slam to get the crowd going and really break open the game for the Terps.
Cowan did not have his greatest game ever against Indiana, but made some big plays in big moments like usual. On this play, he finally took advantage of the three Maryland offensive rebounds. The senior leader used a step-back to convert from his favorite spot from behind the arc.
Cowan did not shoot the ball well, going 4-for-13 from the field and 1-for-6 from deep, but he did contribute in other ways, going for six rebounds, six assists. and zero turnovers. He finished the game with 13 points.
Chol Marial is still getting back into game shape, and certainly looks a bit rusty, but he made his presence felt on defense during this game on a few occasions.
Indiana’s De’Ron Davis tried to back Marial down, but the 7’2 freshman was there every step of the way in not letting him get a jump on him. Davis tried to go up with it after a few attempts to make a move, but was met by the long arms of Marial, who sent the Terps running in transition after a nice block.