For much of the first half last night, we saw a different team. This was a team that was practically playing without its star player and scorer. Yes, Vasquez was on the court, but he had only contributed 2 points. It didn’t seem to matter though as the Terps played efficient basketball on route to a 88 – 64 win over the Wolfpack, which beat Duke earlier this week.
The Terps so far have not had too much trouble scoring points, especially against ACC teams. They play sound half-court offense and know when to shoot and when to pass. Greivis, 19 pts and 5 assists, is the exception to this, but last night he seemed to fall in line with what the Terps were doing as a team. They limited their turnovers and assisted on more than half their baskets. Something else the Terps haven’t had in past seasons is a presence down low where they were aggressive and scored 34 points in paint. As the Terps build confidence in their shooting, the wins are starting to come. Good play is spreading out to all players as four players lat night scored in double figures. Along with Vasquez, Milbourne had another good game, 18 pts and 5 brds and Mosley contributed 13 pts and 7 brds.
Defensively, this team is finding their identity. Jordan Williams, 9pts and 9 brds, has effectively taken over the starting position and has built tremendous confidence as the go-to man under the basket. The Wolfpack was more hesitant to attack the basket and when they were forced to shoot from the outside, Marylands guards defended well. NC State did not shoot the 3 well and their back-door cuts were ineffective, the latter being something they beat Duke with over and over again. Gregory, 8pts and 6 brds, has been a nice compliment coming off the bench and provides Gary with a second option under the basket.
Overall, the game didn’t look this close in the second half. Maryland built a good lead and at one point, they were up 26 points. Maryland has now placed themselves in a first place tie with Virginia and host Miami this Tuesday. Miami did start the season 14 – 0, but has since gone 1 – 4 in the ACC. Look for Maryland to continue their good play and keep Miami on their current losing streak.