Maryland Basketball: Midseason Report Card for the Terrapins
Sitting at a modest 16-6 record overall, and just 4-5 in the ACC, Maryland has a lot of work left to do in order to secure a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
A victory over Duke seems necessary at this point, or else the Terps may need to win every other game besides their matchup with the Blue Devils.
So far, there have been plenty of pros and cons for this inconsistent yet talented bunch. Here is my report card for the Terrapins, perched in the middle of the pack in the ACC.
Key Stats: 72.0 PPG, .475 FG%, .345 3P%
With just two players averaging more than 8.5 points per game, it's hard to imagine that Maryland ranks in the first-quarter percentile nationally for scoring with 72 points per game.
In reality, that number is a bit inflated by a soft schedule early on, but the Terps have done a solid job of keeping their point totals fairly high using balanced shot selection.
No premier, first-option scorer has emerged, but Alex Len, Dez Wells, Jake Layman and Seth Allen have all provided valiant scoring efforts from time to time. Each have had games over 20 points this season.
Maryland has clearly had its fair share of rough patches, scoring just 14 points in the first half at Miami. It has failed to notch more than 65 points in a game six times in ACC play, causing major reason for concern going forward.
Key Stats: 42.6 RPG, 29.6 DRPG, 13.0 ORPG, .556 Reb%
If there's one reason you won't want to see Maryland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, it would certainly be dominance on the glass. The Terps rank first in the nation in total and defensive rebounds per game.
Alex Len pulls down 8.2 boards per game, while Charles Mitchell chips in six. Dez Wells, Nick Faust and James Padgett each contribute four per game as well.
Maryland has consistently hauled in more rebounds than its opponent, making rebounding a shining bright spot for the Terps.
Offensive Efficiency: D
Key Stats: 15.2 TPG, 67.1 Poss Per 40 Min, 15.8 APG
Maryland's dire lack of a heady facilitator leaves so much to be desired, but it's a reality for Mark Turgeon. The Terps have displayed horrendous offensive rhythm, flow and distribution this season.
After a strong start with Pe'Shon Howard averaging over six assists per night over the first few months, Howard fell into a slump, resulting in a point guard-by-committee system. Nick Faust, Seth Allen and Dez Wells have all seen time at the point, with none of them proving to be viable options.
Maryland's 15.2 turnovers per game have been a major issue. Backdoor wheel routes have been the main form of offense so far, which may need to change for Maryland to be a contender in March.
Key Stats: 61.3 OPP PPG, .420 OPP FG%, 4.0 BPG, 4.0 SPG
Despite failing to create a large number of turnovers, Maryland has shown some pretty stingy defense this season, holding opponents to just 42 percent from the floor.
Alex Len has altered numerous shots every night in the lane, using his length as a major annoyance. Big bodies Charles Mitchell and Shaquille Cleare have helped solidify the post as well.
Recently, Maryland has given up over 70 points in two of its last three games. To make a run at an ACC crown, the Terps will need to hold opponents under 65 points on a nightly basis.
The most disappointing area this season is unquestionably coaching, where Mark Turgeon has made a few cardinal errors that have cost Maryland a few games.
Turgeon seriously needs to cut the rotation down from 10 to eight players. In a 40-minute college basketball game, there isn't enough time for ten players to all play substantial minutes.
In addition, Turgeon has sent out various lineups that don't include a scorer from the perimeter. Maryland has no option to score if neither Nick Faust, Dez Wells nor Seth Allen is in the game. Turgeon needs to sharpen up his decision-making for the last stretch of the season.
Well, coming into the season, I expected Maryland to be the quintessential bubble team. Thus far, I couldn't have been more correct.
With a signature win against North Carolina State, two decent losses to Florida State and no head-scratching defeats, the Terps may fall on either side of the bubble.
A solid "B" grade seems appropriate, relative to my expectations.