A February matchup against a Division II team is some unorthodox scheduling, especially for the No. 2 ranked team in the country, but Maryland's victory over Bowie State still served a purpose. Walk-ons touched the court, role players got minutes, starters got rest and the Terrapins put another tally in the win column.
"I think coach did a great job managing the minutes tonight and making sure everyone stayed fresh and got on the court," said Rasheed Sulaimon. "Everyone contributed in this game."
Eleven Terps scored, and Maryland got to empty its entire bench in a feel-good win at home, which will sandwich two difficult Saturday matchups after Maryland already beat No. 18 Purdue and will face Wisconsin at the end of the week.
The game's most important minutes belonged a guy who has seen up and down minutes all season: sophomore guard Jaylen Brantley.
"I just came out as my normal self," said Brantley, "just waiting for my name to get called so I can play confidently like coach is always telling me to do."
His time spent on the bench surely hasn't affected his ability to shoot the ball. Brantley shot 4-for-8 and hit 2 of his 4 shots from behind the arc for 10 points.
"It was a major confidence-builder for me and a confidence-builder for Coach [Mark] Turgeon in me," said Brantley. "He could see that I am ready to play with guys so I think it was good."
Whether his performance against Bowie State will translate into future minutes is unclear, but he believes his play could benefit his teammates in the backcourt. Sulaimon played just 20 minutes and Melo Trimble 17 on Tuesday.
"I think it would help them a lot," said Brantley. "They wouldn't have to play as many minutes, I can bring another ball handler in the game, when I'm open I'll shoot it, try to make a few shots for them, to take the pressure off of them, so that would be good too."
For now, Turgeon has some new tape to look at as he attempts to fit all of his talented pieces together.