Who: Maryland Terrapins vs. Morehead State Eagles
What: 1st home game of the season
Where: The Comcast Center, ESPN3
When: 8:00 PM tonight
Line: Maryland (-13.5)
My Thoughts On This Year’s Team After One Game (In 5 words Or Less)
Alex Len: Mason Plumlee draft stock killer
Nick Faust: Jumper still looks awkward
Dez Wells: Carries himself like “the guy”
Pe’Shon Howard: More of 2nd half please
Charles Mitchell: Never gives up on play
James Padgett: Post moves still solid
Seth Allen: Best looking shot on team
Jake Layman: Struggled in man to man
Shaquille Cleare: Looked a step slow
Logan Aronhalt: Should’ve taken the last shot
All things considered, if you told me Maryland would lose by one possession to the #3 team in the country — it would still suck. But there are obviously plenty of positives to take out of it. The most important one being that Maryland went head to head with one of the best front courts in the country, and frankly took them to the cleaners on the boards. I think part of this was due to how Kentucky played (they rarely crashed the offensive boards, opting instead to drop back on D, but the Terps should definitely be credited with embarrassing Kentucky’s front line by grabbing tons of their own offensive rebounds.
Maryland acquitted themselves well against tough competition, the kind of competition they won’t face again until December. The next four games are all at home, and all against what I’m pretty sure are basketball teams. The home cooking starts tonight with Phil Simms’ alma mater, the Morehead State Eagles. For these next four games, I’ll be going with a slightly different preview format.
Wait, Who Is Maryland Playing?
You haven’t been tuning into the OVC (Ohio Valley Conference)? Interesting, neither has anyone. A few years ago, Morehead State was actually pretty good due to rebounding machine and ‘Predator’ lookalike Kenneth Faried, they provided one of the best moments of the 2010 NCAA tournament by taking out Louisville. Don’t worry though, Faried is now safely in the NBA making Morehead State about as scary as their name.
Gotta Watch Out For:
Senior forward Milton Chavis, the Eagles leading scorer from their first game. There’s not exactly a track record for anyone else. Forward Khalil Owens finished with a double double, but he’s 6’7”, so I’m going to bet that won’t happen again. Chavis on the other hand canned 4 of 6 from deep and 9 of his 16 shots overall, so he should be public enemy number one for the Maryland defense.
Come On, Is There Really A Chance This Is A Game?
No, there’s not. Morehead State has two players over 6’9” (the boringly named Jason Holmes and the hilariously named Chad Posthumus). They played a total of 13 minutes against LIU-Brooklyn and pulled down a whopping three rebounds. If Maryland is as insanely productive as they were on the boards against Kentucky, Morehead may not get a second chance all night.
On the offensive end, it should prove easier getting to the hoop against a team without two 7 footers permanently camped out in the lane, so the shooting percentage (I would hope) would be higher. If the Terps lose a game to the team picked to finish 6th in the vaunted OVC, there should be some… reevaluation.
3 Things To Look For Besides A Win
Who takes the reins in the point guard competition? Between Howard and Allen, neither looked outstanding, but Allen definitely had the more noticeable plays (a nice dish to Len inside after an ankle breaker on Archie Goodwin was especially nasty). Howard is still going to get the benefit of the doubt until he’s had a few games to get his sea legs back under him, but if Allen continues to outplay him in this four game stretch, the minutes could begin to shift.
In more than five words, Nick Faust’s shot in the Kentucky game looked just as unbalanced and inconsistent as last year. The way I see it, there’s two ways to solve this issue. Either Faust takes the ball to the hoop more, or his numbers from the outside improve. The former seems like the option that would have more success, but at shooting guard Faust has to be able to stretch the floor. Look for some improvement against a down Morehead State defense.
Dez Wells nearly had a world altering throw down on Nerlens Noel during the Kentucky game, but unsurprisingly with Noel, it was blocked. Morehead doesn’t have someone to block it, expect them to supply the donuts as Dez will supply the dunkin. America runs on Dez.
Patrick Guthrie is a University of Maryland alumnus, co-host of the BSR Podcast and contributor at BaltimoreSportsReport.com. You can follow him on Twitter @patguth321.