Duke discards Maryland, 77-56
Everyone take a deep breath ...
... and exhale.
As Coach Gary Williams noted after Saturday's 21-point loss at Duke, it was just one game. Maryland still sits among the conference leaders in the ACC, and it remains in good shape to make the NCAA tournament.
That is, so long as the issues that plagued the Terrapins against Duke do not suddenly develop into recurring themes. Maryland plays again in, oh, 50 hours or so, so you won't have to wait too long to see how the Terrapins respond.
Maryland shot 37.7 percent from the field and 15.4 percent from three-point range. The Terrapins tallied 10 assists to 14 turnovers and forced Duke to commit just seven turnovers of its own. And while the rebounding margin didn't end up too definitively in Duke's favor (44-37), the Blue Devils killed Maryland with an abundance of second-chance points (20).
"Over the course of 40 minutes, we didn’t do the things necessary to win the game either offensively or defensively, especially giving them the second shots that they had," Williams said.
1) Cliff Tucker's first-half spark. Only two Maryland players tallied more than two points in the first half, and Tucker was one of them. After entering the contest with just less than 13 minutes remaining before the intermission and the Terrapins trailing by 10, Tucker scored six of Maryland's next eight points. He finished the first half with eight and was one of the reasons why the Terrapins trailed by just 16 points at the half. It could have been much, much worse, given the sluggish manner in which Maryland started the game. Tucker finished with 12 points in 24 minutes.
2) Greivis Vasquez's second-half spark. After making just 1 of 5 shots in the first half, Vasquez shot 6 for 7 from the field after the break. At one point he tallied 10 straight points for the Terrapins, but his offensive efforts were not matched by any other Terrapin during the second half. Vasquez finished with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, seven assists, four assists and three turnovers.
3) Second-half aggressiveness. The Terrapins started out slow. Really, really slow. They did not execute well on the offensive end, and that in part was due to a lack of aggressiveness. For stretches during the second half -- specifically the 10-0 run that brought Maryland to within 10 points of the lead -- that problem appear to be solved. Eric Hayes, Tucker and Vasquez took the ball to the hole, but eventually Duke adjusted and Maryland could not sustain that approach.
1) Offensive efficiency. What happened to the sweet-shooting Terrapins who rarely turned the ball over and passed with precision? They certainly did not make the trip to Durham. Instead, the version of the Terps that showed up to Cameron Indoor on Saturday shot 37.7 percent from the field, found nearly any success from the three-point line, turned the ball over in the face of Duke's frequent defensive switches and by and large seemed out of sync. That, in fact, might have been what stood out most. Since conference play began, Maryland's half-court offense consistently has run smoothly, but today the Terrapins' timing appeared off. Passes were early or late or short or long. Shots were off-balanced, and open looks were hard to come by. Duke's defense may have had as much to do with that as anything. The Blue Devils are, after all, ranked No. 1 in the ACC in scoring defense.
2) Milbourne and Mosley. Combined, senior forward Landon Milbourne and sophomore guard Sean Mosley shot 3 for 12 from the field and tallied six points, seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals. From two of the team's top overall performers, those numbers simply won't cut it. Granted, both players were matched up against opponents who held significant size advantages, but by now, they should be accustomed to operating under such circumstances.
3) Containing Brian Zoubek. Duke's 7-foot-1 senior center entered Saturday's game averaging 4.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He had served as a nice role player off the bench, but was not someone opposing teams figured they had to game plan around. And then against Maryland, Zoubek received his first start of the season and responded by scoring 16 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in 22 minutes. Maryland found no way to stop him on either end of the court for any extended period of time.
February 13, 2010; 4:48 PM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
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