Maryland Basketball: Report Card Grades for the Loss to Florida State

Ryan SatskyContributor IIIJanuary 9, 2013

Maryland Basketball: Report Card Grades for the Loss to Florida State

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    Florida State's Okaro White dominated the second half and finished with a game-high 20 points as the Seminoles handed Maryland just its second loss of the season.

    Alex Len led the Terps with 15 points and 10 boards. Nick Faust chipped in 14 after missing most of last game with back spasms.

    Turnovers plagued Maryland all game long, with 18 total by the end.

    Here's the overall report card for Maryland's heart-racing loss to Florida State.

Point Guard: Pe'Shon Howard

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    Grade: D-

    It really couldn't have gone much worse for Pe'Shon Howard, who scored zero points and dished out just one assist, while turning the ball over three times.

    Howard looked more than intimidated by Florida State's swarming perimeter defense, and I was surprised to see he only committed three turnovers. He didn't play much of the second half, and deservedly so.

    It will be tough to recover from such a poor showing, but there's only way to go from here for Pe'Shon Howard, and that's up.

Shooting Guard: Dez Wells

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    Grade: C-

    Wells tied for the team lead in the turnover department, giving the ball away five times. He constantly tried to penetrate the lane and only scored about once. Most of the other times, he lost his handle and turned the ball over.

    He played relatively well during the first half, which Maryland ended up by nine. Wells was aggressive on the boards and at least showed some intensity attacking the lane. He finished with five points and three rebounds.

    It's hard to put too much blame on Wells, because the effort was certainly evident. Nevertheless, his turnovers and carelessness may have cost Maryland the game.

Small Forward: Nick Faust

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    Grade: A-

    Returning from lingering back spasms that sidelined him for most of the Virginia Tech game, Nick Faust came back with a bang. He nailed four out of his six three-point attempts en route to a solid 14-point performance.

    With less than a minute to go, Faust drained a 30-plus-footer to give Maryland its last breath of hope. His active defense was the main reason Michael Snaer picked up two quick offensive fouls, as well.

    In a game full of negatives, Faust was one of very few shining outliers. He showed great poise and cemented his spot in the starting lineup for the future.

Power Forward: Charles Mitchell

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    Grade: B-

    After stringing together a bunch of double-doubles in non-conference play, Charles Mitchell wasn't very active against Florida State. He quietly chipped in four points while continuing his rebounding success by hauling in seven boards.

    Mitchell showed that he can adequately defend on the perimeter, which may be necessary considering he stands only 6'7''.

    Most of Mitchell's success was thanks to the attention that Alex Len demands, but he still didn't make many mistakes.

Center: Alex Len

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    Grade: B+

    Alex Len could have easily had a dunk to send the game into overtime, but eventual shooter Seth Allen missed him cutting to the hoop. Still, Len pieced together a respectable performance, dropping 15 points and reeling in 10 boards.

    Len had some trouble with 7'3'' center Boris Bojanovsky hovering around him and struggled to finish some point-blank shots that he usually scores.

    It wasn't his best showing, but he had some flashy dunks and a nice jumper to go along with plenty of contested shots on the defensive end. Had he received the ball more, Len would have had a bigger impact on the game.

Bench

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    Grade: D+

    Seth Allen's six points in the final minute gave Maryland its last bit of life coming down the stretch, but his awful decision-making is the primary reason the Terps lost.

    Allen finished with five turnovers, mostly from attempts at being fancy on the dribble. He also had the potential game-winner blocked and could have found a cutting Alex Len to send the game to overtime.

    Logan Aronhalt only shot 25 percent from deep, down from his season average of 56 percent. James Padgett and Shaquille Cleare were non-factors in the low post. Jake Layman had a few nice plays here and there but wasn't a featured contributor.

Offense

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    Grade: D

    There's no beating around the bush—18 turnovers is a horrendous number. You can't win while turning the ball over 18 times. College basketball just doesn't work that way.

    Aside from turnovers, Alex Len didn't get nearly enough touches late in the game. The point guards, Seth Allen and Pe'Shon Howard, struggled with decision-making. Dez Wells was often out of control on the drive. The team shot an abysmal 36.7 percent from the floor.

    Nick Faust's superb outside shooting display, and uncharacteristically intelligent play, keep this offense from receiving a failing mark.

Defense

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    Grade: B+

    Despite Florida State going on a major run in the second half to take the lead, Maryland's defense was nothing short of impressive.

    Most of the Seminoles' points were second-chance points, resulting from missed shots that were closely contested. Many of those offensive rebounds came from fortunate bounces.

    Florida State only shot 36.7 percent from the field, an alarmingly low number. A lack of defense wasn't the reason Maryland dropped this game, and it should be commended for its effort.

Overall

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    Grade: C

    Maryland ended up losing by only two points and had a chance to win the game with one shot, so it would appear that the team played a decent game.

    In the first half? Sure.

    In the second half? Not even close.

    Turnovers plagued Maryland in both halves, but a lack of offensive poise in the second half was the difference-maker.

    Overall, it was a definitively average showing by Maryland, and one that won't fly if it wants to be an NCAA tournament team.