Patience is key for Maryland on offense
One of the interesting things to watch tonight when Maryland takes on New Hampshire at Comcast Center is how smoothly the team starts out on offense. In both of their first two games, the Terrapins got off to sluggish offensive starts before performing more effectively after halftime.
Per usual, Maryland has not struggled to create points in transition off of turnovers. But Coach Gary Williams repeatedly has said that the team can't always rely on its defense to bail out its halfcourt offense. On Thursday, Williams was asked how he felt the halfcourt offense was coming along.
"Halfcourt offense takes time," Williams said. "It's probably the toughest thing because, I mean, if you just run screen and roll plays like I've seen on a couple games, unfortunately our players have seen that too, but we do a little more than that, so there's a lot of timing involved and it takes longer. But we can run screen and rolls too. In fact, we might run all screen and roll plays tomorrow night. Because that's what I've been seeing on television, so that must be the way to play."
I'll let you read between the lines on that one, if you so choose.
Anyway, Maryland increased its field goal shooting percentage by more than six percentage points between the first and second halves of its regular season opener against Charleston Souther. And the Terrapins increased their field goal shooting percentage by nearly five percentage points between the first and second halves Tuesday against Fairfield.
Tuesday's initial offensive struggles were due in part to Fairfield's approach of mixing defensive schemes between man and zone -- at times in the middle of possessions. That's not typically something you see this time of year.
As for how the Terrapins can get into more of an offensive rhythm sooner in games, junior guard Adrian Bowie has an answer.
"Just being patient, not trying to score on one pass," Bowie said. "And just realizing different options on different plays that we have. We just didn't make shots like we did in the first game. Didn't knock down open shots."
Here was senior guard Eric Hayes's take:
"We have plays set for a man-to-man offense and for zone offense," Hayes said. "When teams do like (Fairfield) did and switch back and forth during possessions kind of throws your offense out of sync a little bit. Coach is telling us, whichever one, if we're running zone plays or if we're running man plays, whichever one they're in, you have to run those plays and not worry about what kind of defense they're in and it will work. We kind of got confused on what we were running and whether we should switch since they switched and things like that. So we just need to listen to Coach and run whatever he calls. We pretty much went to our zone offense in the latter part of the first half and throughout the game. We tried to penetrate off those plays and not stay stationary out there on the perimeter, just trying to get the ball moving. I think it worked for us pretty good."
Indeed, Maryland did end up defeating Fairfield by 29 points. And as Williams put it, "I'd like to start slowly offensively and win by 30 every game we play."
November 20, 2009; 10:46 AM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
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