Maryland defeats Indiana (Pa.), 75-54
It wasn't always pretty, but the Terrapins prevailed over Division II Indiana (Pa.), 75-54, on Tuesday night at Comcast Center. Coach Gary Williams and players said afterward they were disappointed in several aspects of the performance, citing team defense and rebounding as the main sources of concern.
But the most critical news for the Terrapins moving forward was revealed about 30 minutes prior to tip-off. A team spokesman handed out a news release stating that junior forward Dino Gregory would sit out Tuesday night's exhibition game due to a violation of team rules.
The nature of the rules violation was not explained, and the release stated that because of federal regulations protecting the privacy of student records, no further comment would be forthcoming. However, Gregory acknowledged this summer that his eligibility for the upcoming season was in question because of a charge of academic dishonesty.
Whether the academic dishonesty charge and the rules violation that forced Gregory to sit out Tuesday's exhibition are related could not be determined. Williams declined to answer a reporter's question before the question was asked following Tuesday night's game.
Should Gregory miss any extended period of time, the team will be without one of its best rebounders and interior defenders. The post play will be left largely to 6-foot-7 senior Landon Milbourne and freshmen Jordan Williams (6-foot-10) and James Padgett (6-foot-8).
1) Sean Mosley. At this point last season, Mosley was dealing with a bum ankle that prevented him from getting much lift on his jump shot. Even when Mosley entered the starting lineup midway through the year, he served primarily as a physical defensive presence. Against IUP, Mosley showed off an improved offensive game, shooting 7 for 9 from the field and scoring 14 points. He also tallied six rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal.
"He’s just a better shooter now than he was at this time last year, so hopefully that will continue," Williams said.
2) First half field goal percentage. The Terps shot 70.4 percent (19 for 27) from the field in the first half, which helped them create an 11-point halftime lead. They cooled off considerably in the second half (37.9 percent), but many key players had decent shooting nights from the floor. Greivis Vasquez shot 6 for 12 from the field (13 points). James Padgett shot 4 for 5. Adrian Bowie shot 3 for 6. Landon Milbourne shot 4 for 9.
3) Bench production. Jordan Williams and Adrian Bowie came off the bench and helped Maryland in a big way against IUP. Williams tallied seven points and six rebounds in 18 minutes. He made 5 of 6 free throws. Bowie recorded eight points, six assists and three steals in 24 minutes.
1) Rebounding. IUP does not possess a particularly tall roster, which made Maryland's loss in the rebounding battle (36-35) all the more discouraging. Gregory, one of the team's better interior rebounders, was suspended for the game. As a result, the Terps had to revert back to relying on their guards to venture into the post and fight for rebounds -- a frequently-used method last season. Vasquez and Mosley both tallied six rebounds to tie for the team high, along with Jordan Williams. Landon Milbourne was the only other Maryland player to grab at least five rebounds.
"We have to rebound better," Gary Williams said. "Against anybody that has some size, that’s going to be a factor. We have enough people to rebound, and we just have to get it done."
2) Team defense. IUP did not shoot the ball very well (36.5 percent from the field; 20.0 percent from three-point range), but it wasn't because they weren't getting open looks. Several Maryland players lamented the team's poor help defense, and Gary Williams was not fond of his team's defensive efforts, either.
"Defensively, we just, we didn’t play good off-the-ball defense," Gary Williams said. "We were okay on the ball, but when somebody beat us, like, in the first half they got down the lane maybe seven or eight times to the rim and that can’t happen because they’ll be dunks playing against a long team. We have to be able to stop that from happening."
3) Offensive assertiveness. Gary Williams and several players talked about how the Terps were not very sharp in executing their offense Tuesday night. Maryland turned the ball over 15 times. Eleven of those came in the first half. Additionally, it did not always seem as though the five Maryland players on the court were on the same page while running through the offensive sets.
"I thought we were a little soft in the way we ran our offense," Gary Williams said. "In other words, we were settling. We shot a good percentage the first half, but you have to take the ball to the basket to get to the foul line to be effective."
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