Terps' Gamble Pays Off
Once again last night, the Terps heavily employed a 3-2 zone defense, and once again, it was quite effective. Maryland's top defensive priority was containing Wake Forest's gigantic frontline, and it planned to do so by using all three of its guards to help out down low.
Maryland also used the zone, in part, to try to deter drives to the basket by Wake Forest guards Jeff Teague and Ishmael Smith. Both tried anyways, but found the going difficult. Teague finished with 11 points, but he shot just 3 of 13 from the field. Smith shot 4 of 11 from the field and tallied nine points.
Despite the extra attention he was paid, Wake Forest forward James Johnson still managed to tally 20 points and 12 rebounds, but since no other Demon Deacon was particularly potent, his big game didn't do too much damage. Wake Forest shot 29.7 percent from the field and 12.0 percent (3 for 25) from beyond the arc.
"They have some guys who can make (three-pointers), but their style is to really go after you, get it on the rim and then really go after the offensive rebound," Gary Williams said. "So we just tried to stay in tight and get a hand up on the shooter. We gambled a little bit that they wouldn’t have a hot day from the three-point line, but you go with it as long as you can. It just seemed that we were able to do that for most of the game."
Though Duke's frontcourt is not nearly as imposing as Wake's, expect to see the Terps trot out that 3-2 zone again this afternoon. As long as it continues to be effective, why not use it?
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