Maryland might be the best shooting team in the entire country. So it was a bit ironic when Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said, "I thought we shot too many jump shots early," in his post-game press conference after the Terps trounced the Marshall Thundering Herd, 87-67, on Sunday evening.
While Turgeon may not have liked the strategy, the Terps hit their shots from deep early, going 6-of-11 from downtown in the first half. Their shooting percentage from the field in the first half was a blistering 53 percent. The Terps got a bunch of high-percentage looks, but they were also knocking down those same jump shots of which Turgeon thought they were taking too many.
The Terrapins actually took even more threes in the second half (16) than in the first half (11). The Terps sunk 44 percent of their three-balls in the second half, which, combined with shooting 50 percent from the floor in the second half, lowered their field goal percentage for the game to 52 percent. While Turgeon described the team as "a little rusty", Maryland's strong shooting certainly didn't give any indication of that.
Maryland's guards were certainly beneficiaries of strong play inside from Diamond Stone and Robert Carter Jr.
Turgeon "told all the guards to play inside-out," Stone said after the game. "Me and Rob, we pretty much took care of business."
The Terps had four players with at least 13 points and six players with at least eight. Stone was 8-of-10 while Rasheed Sulaimon and Carter both shot 50 percent from the field. Melo Trimble didn't attempt a single free throw but shot 56 percent from the field, piling up 13 points to go along with his seven assists and five rebounds.
Maryland's obviously going to have an easier time shooting against teams like Marshall and Princeton than it will against Michigan State, Purdue and Iowa. However, the team's shooting still bodes well for its chances in the Big Ten in the postseason. Until then, Turgeon says there is still a lot of room for improvement, and conference play will help the team develop.
"We've got a long ways to go in our half-court offense...We have to have go-to plays. We haven't had a lot of close games. Obviously we're going to have a lot of those coming up. That's something that we have to get better at."
Maryland currently ranks 16th in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage, and will look to carry this white-hot shooting into Big Ten play. Turgeon said that there will be a difference in the way the team prepares and plays. "Our mindset will switch. They know it's 'turn it on' time."