Welcome to the Testudo Times film room. On Wednesday night, Maryland fell short to No. 14 Wisconsin, 61-55.
After an abysmal first half, the Terps trailed by 18 heading into the final 20 minutes. Improved shooting and offensive movement allowed Maryland to mount a second half comeback and cut the deficit to just three at one point. However, it was too little, too late, as the hole Maryland found itself in was too big to climb out of due to a horrific offensive showing.
Mark Turgeon’s group shot 30% from three-point range for the game, but just 14% in the first half on 14 attempts. In the first matchup against Wisconsin this season, where Maryland pulled off the upset win on the road, the Terps did a terrific job of penetrating on drives and getting to the basket. On Wednesday, Maryland settled for deep, contested shots despite failing to connect on almost all of them.
Let’s go to the film to see how Maryland struggled to make shots and create anything on offense, and how that changed in the second half.
Maryland couldn’t get much offense going
Maryland had a rough time hitting shots from deep, on both contested and open looks. Throughout the season, the Terps have been inconsistent shooting the three ball, but they haven't struggled as much as they did in the first half against the Badgers.
While the poor offensive start can be attributed to missed shots, it was also a result of a lack of movement and creativity on offense that the Terps have displayed frequently throughout the season. When the Terps are cutting and moving without the ball, instead of standing around and ball watching, they are an incredibly more effective offensive unit.
This is an example of the stagnant offense that Maryland showcased in the first half, resulting in the 18-point deficit. Ayala is playing one-on-one basketball while everyone else is standing on the perimeter watching him go to work.
The result? A horrible, contested step-back three that does not even reach the rim. These type of offensive possessions bail out the Wisconsin defense.
Here is another time where everyone is watching Ayala at the top of the key trying to make something happen. He ends up chucking up a deep three-pointer with a hand in his face while there is still plenty of time left on the shot clock. Again, everyone else is simply watching instead of cutting or screening off the ball.
These were some of the triples Maryland was shooting in the first half instead of trying to get downhill and attack the basket. These would normally be bad looks, but they are particularly poor shots when the team is having no success shooting from distance.
This is another stagnant offensive possession. Donta Scott receives the ball at the elbow extended spot and he faces the basket. Once he gets it, he jabs a few times in an attempt to create space and ends up shooting a long two with a hand in his face. Everyone else is standing around waiting for the ball to come to them, instead of cutting. Scott holds on to the ball way too long before making a move, which stalls the offense.
This is another three-point attempt in the first half that clanked off the iron. Hakim Hart catches the ball in the corner while his feet are not set and with a man is in his face, but still decides to launch the shot with 20 seconds on the shot clock instead of driving to the rim.
This is a set in the second half where Maryland got a good look and converted. The Terps did a significantly better job in the second half of moving the ball and screening off the ball to create opportunities for shooters, which resulted in a comeback.
Galin Smith sets one screen that Darryl Morsell curls off of and then sets another for Wiggins to get a three ball. Wiggins catches, pump fakes and side steps to get off a clean look that hits the bottom of the net.
This is another instance of good ball and player movement that resulted in points for the Terps in the second half. Eric Ayala has the ball on the left wing and is properly spaced. Scott goes to set a screen, but slips it instead. Ayala does a good job of selling the pass to make it look like he is going to throw it underneath to Scott, which shifts Morsell’s defender in the corner closer to the basket. Once Ayala sees that, he swings the ball to Morsell for a good look from three which he knocks down.
There has been a noticeable difference all season in the offensive production for the Terps when there is an excess of player and ball movement, as opposed to when everyone is standing around and watching the ball — which happens more often than not.
Maryland’s defense was solid, but had a tough time containing senior Micah Potter
Although Maryland’s poor offensive play was the bigger story and the Terps’ defense was solid for much of the game, it had a tough time containing Wisconsin big Micah Potter, who knocked down four triples in the game.
Hart gets switched on to Potter, who does a great job of sealing him and going to work in the post. Turgeon does not typically like to switch those screens to have a guard on a big in the post, but when that happens, there should be immediate help from the weak side.
Jairus Hamilton and the rest of the Terps on the floor forget about Potter in this pick-and-pop action. Hamilton stays with the guard coming off the screen for too long and is late to get back to Potter, which allows him time to gather himself and drill a deep three. Scott should also have rotated over instead of just stunting at Potter when he sees Hamilton is late.
Here, Potter is not boxed out at all and is right there to collect the miss and score the put-back. There are a few Terps watching the ball go up, instead of putting a body on Potter to block him out and prevent him from getting the rebound.