Well, what a game this was. I think this one ranks as one of the most fun games to photograph this year.
From the moment the ball tipped off, Maryland was ready to come back. They were ready to show that one loss would not define them and that they would rebound for the win. Getting started with a couple of baskets from Damonte Dodd and Jake Layman, the game moved fast.
I would like to give a shout out to Mark Turgeon. He is an amazing coach, obviously, but what a man. Once a player gets fouled, he replaces them and disciplines the players very well. Not only that, he is very close with them and truly cares about what they are saying and what they are doing. I see him squatting down, watching the game constantly. There's never a time where he's slacking off or not watching, but instead, he is always pushing his team.
Second, Diamond Stone was ON FIRE! After coming off the bench, let me tell you what happened. He walked onto the court, and before even getting ready for the play, clenched his fists, put on his signature game-face and jumped in complete enthusiasm. I had never seen a player that excited to play, and that's why I love Diamond Stone. He's my favorite athlete because he is always excited and ready to dominate. And he did just that, scoring 16 points throughout the game and a couple of amazing dunks.
Third, Melo Trimble was outstanding. Mark Turgeon said in the postgame conference that he is a very good player who does not necessarily need to be leading the team in points, but instead just wants to help the team win. With Trimble, there is "no ego there." And for such a talented athlete, he is humble, smart and dominant on the court. He didn't score practically at all, but Trimble's presence was continually helpful. '
Next is Ivan Bender. This was his first game in action for the Terrapins at Xfinity Center, and boy did he make it memorable. Especially on the last play of the game. He took the ball to the hoop and hung onto the rim for at least five seconds before coming back down. What play and what athleticism by Bender... I was speechless.
After that goes to DJ Durkin. Maryland's new head football coach was introduced during the first timeout of Friday's game. At halftime I happened to bump into him. I literally couldn't think of a better way to get his attention, so I said, "hey" to which he replied the same word. "Congratulations and good luck, man," I told him. "Thank you very much," he shook my hand, and then we parted ways. He struck me as class act and had just finished taking pictures with many of the fans at the game.
My last shoutout will go to the wonderful fans. As you saw, I am starting to hand out slips that tell you that your picture will be featured on our site in our photo galleries each game. Everyone I met was so excited and proud to be a Terps fan. So look for me on the court, guys!
Let's love the pictures.