Reporting Brendan Darr
One constant through this tumultuous season for Maryland is the patented second half lull the Terrapins seem to have coming out of halftime. It’s almost become comical how commonplace it has become that the team comes out a little flat in the second half. Saturday was no different for the Terps, as they were tied at halftime, but managed to score just 13 points in the second half in their 71-44 loss at Virginia.
After defeating Boston College late Thursday night, Maryland (15-11, 5-7 in ACC) had a quick 36-hour turnaround to face Virginia (20-6, 7-5) in Charlottesville. However, the coaches and players wouldn’t let that be an excuse for their 71-44 loss. One issue Maryland didn’t have an answer for, Virginia’s Forward Mike Scott.
Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon threw everyone at his disposal at Scott, but no one could shut him down. Terps forwards struggled all game against him en route to 25 points (a new career-high in an ACC game) and 7 rebounds. Sean Mosley was asked after the game how to defend him, and he said they needed to be more physical.
Coach Turgeon was very honest in his assessment of the team’s play today, “You can go down our whole list. If you can tell me one guy who played well today, I’ll argue that you’re wrong. We were 0-for-14.”
While the honesty is great, it’s the sad truth Maryland fans must be faced with after Saturday’s game. The team just didn’t play well throughout the entire game, not just the second half.
Maryland managed to stay close with Virginia in the first half, despite seemingly being out-played, thanks to their three-point shooting. That couldn’t save them in the second half, although I’m not sure — nor did Mark Turgeon — that anything could. Turgeon made it clear that the team did not quit, rather, they hung their collective heads in the second half. He praised Virginia for their fantastic defense, and it was, but also made sure to point out the team was selfish in the second half.
When the word selfish gets thrown around, it’s mostly in reference to Terrell Stoglin. Stoglin took 17 shots tonight, only making four. Turgeon said Stoglin was selfish, but he also realized that no one else on the team were converting any of their opportunities either. Turgeon was also clear to point out that the selfishness continued even when the walk-on’s came in with over 3 minutes to go.
Things got interesting when Turgeon was asked about how he thought the Point Guard situation was going through three without Pe’Shon Howard. Turgeon said “If Terrell is our point guard, we’ll have 17 possessions where no one else will touch it.”
The inept offense shouldn’t fall squarely on Stoglin’s shoulders. Maryland’s four big men (Alex Len, James Padgett, Ashton Pankey and Berend Weijs) finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds. It should be noted that all of those came from Padgett and Pankey, as Weijs and Len were virtually held off the stat sheet. The 44 points are the second lowest of the season for Maryland, and the lowest since 42 against Alabama in Puerto Rico.
Maryland will have another quick turnaround before Miami, but certainly will have some time to rest. They’ll be playing at home, so travel won’t affect their plans at all like it did today. Turgeon mentioned their traveling situation today in the press conference and how he screwed up.
“I’m a rookie on this driving stuff, I didn’t know whether to practice there or here, we were going to do both but go stuck in traffic. We didn’t get anything done last night. Our preparation wasn’t what it usually was. I don’t know if it would have made a difference today if we had two or three days because they were a pretty determined team and you could tell.”
Turgeon is not making any excuses for the loss, but you can tell these are starting to take a toll on him. Maryland and Miami tip at 8 p.m. on Tuesday night at Comcast Center. For more updates on the University of Maryland, Follow Brendan Darr on Twitter: @BrendanDarr1067