Reporting Brendan Darr
The game never felt like it was as close as the score indicated early on, even when the Terps cut the lead to six points, but a 23-3 UNC run in the second half made a game that felt like a blowout, truly into one. It was a rough night, save for Nick Faust, for the Terrapins as they were completely dismantled by the Tar Heels 88-64.
It’s tough to say there was a bright spot tonight, but Nick Faust came to play, even if his teammates did not. Faust finished with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. He was 3-for-6 from behind the arc tonight, showing off his jump shot which has been erratic, at best, all season.
Faust has shown all season that even if his shot isn’t falling he has the ability to still make an impact on the game, however, he’s also shown that if his shot is falling he has the potential to be a star. Faust can fill up a box score from the guard position, and does all the little things that don’t show up as well — primarily lock down opposing teams best perimeter player. UNC’s Harrison Barnes — a consensus top-5 pick in June’s NBA Draft — was held to just 10 points on 3-for-8 shooting.
In fact, the only thing Faust couldn’t do tonight was stop UNC’s big men. Tyler Zeller (30 points and 8 rebounds) and John Henson (19 points and 9 rebounds) completely dominated the Terps’ big men tonight. Zeller’s numbers are impressive, but given he shot 23 free throws, naturally some fans will wonder if he got some home cooking on senior night.
“Maybe [Len] needs to go to the Zeller School of Drawing Fouls” said Turgeon after the game. Nick Faust added that “He got a lot of calls. … There wasn’t much our big men could do. He got every call he really wanted. He’s a good player.”
Oh, you thought I wouldn’t have a quote from someone from Maryland saying that. You were wrong.
The biggest offender tonight was Ashton Pankey. He played just seven minutes tonight for the Terps, and finished with 0 points, 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 block and 5 fouls. He nearly got the golden sombrero.
This won’t help the perception that Coach Mark Turgeon put out about the team being deflated after the Georgia Tech loss. In fact, this only looks to reinforce that notion. Maryland has their final game of the regular season on Saturday at home against arch-rival Virginia. The Terps will look to salvage their season with a win, and use the momentum to carry into the ACC Tournament. Speaking of which, the Terps look locked into the 8th seed, barring a collapse from Clemson.
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