Passing Up Opportunities
Gary Williams knows good and well that Michigan Coach John Beilein has seen tape of the Terps' performance against Georgetown, the one where Maryland shot 31.6 percent from the field. He also knows Beilein probably has seen footage of Maryland's showing against Gonzaga, where the Terps shot 37.3 percent from the field.
And as good a coach as Williams believes Beilein to be, he understands it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize the Terps flat-out haven't shot the ball well lately. On the season, Maryland is shooting 40.5 percent from the field and 31.6 percent from three-point range. The Terps have made just four of their last 31 attempts (12.9 percent) of their attempts from beyond the arc.
At least in regards to the Georgetown game, Williams said Maryland's shooting woes derived from a lack of patience.
"We have to shoot the ball better, but that's something that we can do," Williams said. "I think we can improve on our shooting by making an extra pass in this game. I thought we were really quick in putting the ball up against Georgetown. I don't think we had much patience. There was too much individual play. You're going to get good shots if the ball moves, no matter how good the other team's defense is, and that's what we're going to have to do better against Michigan.
"We didn't give it a chance (against Georgetown). We were that way from the start. It wasn't a reaction to moving the ball well, getting open shots, not going in, ok, so I'm going to try to take over the game. It was just being individualistic right from the start of the game."
Maryland struggled in the past two games to establish much of a transition game, which is where a majority of its offensive effectiveness comes from. It's hard to start a fast break off a made basket, and there were a lot of made baskets against the Terps on Friday and Sunday.
Reduced to its half-court offense, Maryland had a hard time getting the ball into the interior and often forced shots on the perimeter as soon as a play showed signs of stalling.
"We mostly settled for jump shots on Sunday," sophomore guard Adrian Bowie said. "We really didn't attack the basket the way we should have against Georgetown's defense. So yesterday in practice and today in practice we're going to focus more on not being selfish enough to take the jump shots and look for the extra pass and just look for the people that are open in the middle and around the basket."
Bowie, by the way, has been the Terps' best shooter so far, sinking 48.8 percent of his shots from the field and 50.0 percent of his three-point attempts. He is averaging 10.3 points per game (second on the team) in 21.8 minutes per game off the bench.
If Bowie's shooting touch could rub off on some of his teammates, the Terps would be in much better shape. But as Bowie and Williams stated, Maryland cannot afford to fret about horrid shooting performances of the past.
"We don't have time to be down or feel sorry for ourselves," Williams said. "We have to come out flying if we expect to be successful. That's our goal and I trust these guys and I think they'll be ready to play (Wednesday) night."
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