Maryland, fighting for their tournament lives, were in need of a win on Wednesday against North Carolina. Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. The Terrapins came out slow, and while they were able to recover, they couldn’t get scores consistently and fell in love with their jump shot that wasn’t falling.
The mantra that “to make shots you need to take shots,” while true, doesn’t mean you need to keep taking contested three-point attempts when your big men are having their way down low. Maryland had a 40-16 advantage in the paint, and yet they continued to jack-up three’s despite their coach looking frustrated when they would.
It was a frustrating night for one of Maryland’s seniors, Logan Aronhalt, as the three-point specialist went 0-for-5 from three after shooting a remarkable 47% on the season. Maryland’s other senior, James Padgett, went out with one of his better games of the season with 9 points and 7 rebounds. Early in the game he was the key for Maryland not falling off-the-rails.
However, the non-senior who may have played his last game will be the biggest story of the game. Alex Len, whom many speculate will leave for the NBA after the season, struggled at times throughout the game and was called out after the game by his coach.
“Good start to you, but not a good start to me,” Turgeon said about Len early on, “When we threw him the ball not much happened.”
Turgeon was obviously frustrated after the game, his team had a first half lead only to squander in the closing minutes after the final media timeout.
“It could have been tied or down two at the half, instead of seven, that’s big against good teams. That’s just part of the process I guess,” Turgeon said about the end of the first half.
Maryland has struggled with teams going small against them and that trend continued again this evening. Maryland tried to use their height to their advantage, but the match-ups it created on defense left North Carolina wide-open for a handful of three-point attempts.
Maryland will only have a few more chances to impress the committee. They’ll have the regular season finale on the road against UVA and they will need to win a few games in the ACC Tournament to get back on the radar. It’s a steep climb to get back in the conversation, but the Terps haven’t given up, yet.