Welcome back to the Testudo Times men’s basketball film room. Maryland had a rough four day stretch with two losses coming at the hands of Penn State on Friday and No. 4 ranked Ohio State on Monday. The Terps are now .500 overall and 4-9 in the Big Ten with six games remaining on the schedule.
Maryland combined for 28 turnovers over those back-to-back losses, while poor shooting, lack of movement and overall inconsistent play from starters have contributed to its poor offensive performances. This was certainly the case against the Buckeyes on Monday night, as Maryland connected on just 26% of its three-point attempts.
Not only did the Terps struggle to make threes against Ohio State, they also did a poor job of contesting the Buckeyes attempts on the other end and failed to run shooters off the line.
Let’s get to the film to break it all down.
Maryland’s offense continues to be a disappointment
During a press conference last week, head coach Mark Turgeon admitted to what everyone who has watched Maryland basketball this season already knew.
“I’m calling a lot less set plays because we’re having trouble remembering plays when we move guys around to different positions during the game,” Turgeon said. “I’ve said all year, we’ve really tried to simplify it.”
It’s no secret that Maryland is running a minimal amount of set plays and often initiating the offense with either a high ball screen or a dribble handoff that has few, if any, secondary options. Turgeon may be right that it’s difficult to call plays or run a productive offense with inconsistent rotations, but there is no doubt the results of running a free-for-all offense have not been pretty and have led to too many turnovers in recent outings.
This is an example of the discombobulated offense Maryland displays. There is no offense run and no set play in motion. Hakim Hart tries to drive, gets cut off and dishes it to Darryl Morsell at the top of the key. Morsell tries to drive and make something happen but loses the ball in traffic and turns it over.
This is a lazy attempt to try to feed Galin Smith inside. Jairus Hamilton does not even attempt to create a better angle to throw it in. He telegraphs his pass and throws it against good coverage on Smith, resulting in another turnover for the Terps.
After an efficient offensive start to the season, Scott has struggled to get much going in recent games. Here, once again, one guy has to try to make something happen himself in Turgeon’s free-for-all offense. Scott gets in the paint, but can't elevate over the Buckeye defender and gets his shot blocked.
This is a clip from the game last Friday night against Penn State, where Maryland scored only 50 points. Here, Maryland goes to its patented dribble hand-off on the wing. Hamilton hands it off and screens for Morsell. The only problem is this exchange happens in a crowded area and Morsell does not have much room to work with. He ends up stepping out of bounds.
Wiggins struggled against Penn State but was better against Ohio State
Aaron Wiggins, when at his best, is the most complete player Maryland has on its roster, however, he has been inconsistent both shooting the ball and remaining aggressive throughout the year. In State College, Wiggins had just two points on 1-11 shooting. He followed that lackluster performance with a more dominant one against the Buckeyes. Wiggins notched 17 points to go along with five rebounds and six assists against Ohio State. Let’s take a look at the difference in his performance between those two games.
Wiggins is a streaky shooter from distance, but when his shot is not falling, he needs to continue to stay engaged and attack the basket for this team to have any success offensively. Here, Wiggins makes it a mission of his to get to the basket against a team that lacks rim protection compared to some of the other Big Ten teams the Terps have faced this season. Wiggins uses a beautiful spin move to get by his defender and then elevates and uses his length to lay it in.
Wiggins is freakishly athletic and long, but at times fails to use those attributes to his advantage. If he can recognize how close he can get to the rim after an initial move because of his long body, as he does here, he will be better off attacking the basket.
This is another take by Wiggins where he uses his agility to blow by his defender, get deep in the paint and finish at the rim.
When Wiggins shot 1-11 against Penn State, a lot of that was because of shots like this, where he settled instead of attacking the rim. Here, Wiggins beats his initial defender and has a lane to the basket, especially with Hamilton in a perfect seal position. However, instead of getting to the rim, Wiggins pulls up for a long two that clanks off the rim.
As the previous clips show, Wiggins made an effort to get down hill and to the basket against the Buckeyes, instead of settling for jumpers, which contributed to his success.
Maryland did a poor job defending the three against the Buckeyes
The Terps rank second-to-last in the Big Ten in opponents three-point shooting percentage. The Buckeyes hit eight first half threes against Maryland, as the Terps struggled to close out on shooters and locate them in transition.
Both Hamilton and Wiggins appear to be in no mans land on this possession. The ball is swung to the wing and Wiggins runs to the man in the corner instead of guarding the ball. That leaves the Buckeye shooter wide open for a three. Hamilton tries to close out from the restricted area, but is too late.
This is another miscommunication that results in a breakdown and an open shot for Ohio State. Ohio State looks like it’s setting an off ball screen for a shooter, but the screener slips it and pops. Hart and Wiggins fail to communicate and both run at the shooter on the wing, who simply makes the extra pass for another three-point make.
Here, Morsell stunts at the shooter on the wing instead of fully committing to the closeout. The Ohio State player has all day to set up and nails the shot.
This is a transition sequence where Maryland does not stop the ball and lets Ohio State go down the court and step right into an open three pointer. In transition defense, the number one priority when sprinting back should be to locate and stop the ball, especially when the guy with the ball is shooting 48% from three this season. That is not a priority for any Terp defender on this possession.