Maryland plays Georgetown on Tuesday night. Before that happens, we thought it'd be useful to dig in – just a little – to the Terps' season-opening win against Mount St. Mary's last Friday. Here are five plays that could turn out to be precursors to new dimensions to Maryland's offense this year:
1. Rasheed Sulaimon and Melo Trimble working off each other.
This shot doesn't go through the basket, but that's not the point. Much like Dez Wells, Sulaimon is an excellent penetrator. But he's a bit more pass-oriented than Wells ever was at Maryland – sort of similar to Trimble, who loves to drive toward the basket and either draw contact or release the ball. Here, Sulaimon attracts a double team that leaves Trimble open.
2. Sulaimon and Trimble turning motion into an open 3-pointer for Jake Layman.
This is drop-dead gorgeous. Trimble and Sulaimon work off a standard perimeter motion, and Jake Layman just loops around the court, picking up a screen from 6'7 shooting guard Jared Nickens. Mount St. Mary's defenders are clearly confused, and Layman gets an open three. He doesn't miss.
3. Diamond Stone, savvy with the left hand.
It'll be worth watching to see how much Stone relies on his left hand during the season, but this caught my eye. He's not a lefty by trade – at least we don't think – but he goes straight to the southpaw here even though it's taking him into the help defender. Not a worry.
4. Stone's passing ability sets up a Layman dunk.
To a degree, this might become less available as the scouting report on Maryland's five-star freshman becomes bigger. But Maryland uses him here to turn an apparent simple handoff to Trimble into a cutting pass to Layman, who has an easy dunk. This caught the Mount by surprise and looked great. We'll see how much it works against power-conference competition that's seen what Stone can do.
5. Trimble creates a wide-open three for Layman, scores anyway.
This one shows off Maryland's embarrassment of riches. Teams know Trimble is a dynamic penetrator, and the Mountaineer defenders close in on the rim as soon as Trimble takes the ball from Stone and gets a head of steam. This leaves a nice 3-point shooter in Layman wide open in the corner, but Trimble's good enough – and close enough to the rim – not to even need him. Either way, Maryland's probably scoring points here.
Trimble was shaken up on that play, but he's fine. If their offense keeps humming like this, so are the Terps.