Wednesday night at the Comcast Center, the Maryland Terps demolished the Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks 100-68. Here’s my three thoughts from this victory.
1. UMES is one of the worst basketball teams ever televised
I had an idea of how ugly this was going to be from the numbers I compiled for the preview. It’s just that, when basketball teams are that bad, they’re not on television. And everything about Eastern Shore was bad, from their end-of-an-all-star-game quality defense, to their decision to launch threes without an adequate launcher on the roster, to the glacial ball movement, which was so slow that it almost appeared they were playing with a medicine ball. The Terps did play well, but they did so against a team that essentially serves as the Washington Generals of D1 basketball. That’s why it’s so tough to take anything from this game without a shaker of salt.
2. Take off at Logan
Last night may have made me an Aronhalt believer, because he showed one of the traits of a great shooter: the ability to get molten hot for a whole game. After stepping into a few threes, Aronhalt started pushing his limits further…and further…and then he took one from the Xfinity logo and pured it. Not only did his shooting remind me of Beerfest (THIRTY METERS!!!), it also reminded me of my freshman year. In a similarly gigantic blowout against UMKC, Mike Jones got in a zone where he just flat out couldn’t miss. Spotting up, off screens, in transition, he drained EVERYTHING (well almost, 9/13). Aronhalt showed last night that when he gets hot, he can produce a 6-0 or 9-0 run before the other team can even react. That’s what I want from my shooter.
3. Building up Shaq
This game was obviously a confidence builder for plenty of people (Layman finally knocking down some outside shots, Allen and Faust combining for 15 assists and only 3 turnovers). But Shaq Cleare really stole the show and played an all around great game. He showed power and grace in the post, firmly establishing his position before dropping in some ambidextrous hook shots. But what I loved were the two monster blocks he had minutes apart. The only thing I know to be similar between Shaq Cleare and I, is that I KNOW how good those huge swats feel. The rush of just obliterating someone’s shot is the closest I will ever feel to John McClain mid-Nakatomi hostage crisis. They were huge confidence builders for Cleare as he muscled his way to a season high 12 points.
Next up: Maryland hosts South Carolina State, whose mascot confirms that Bear Bryant may have had a zoophilia fetish that he consummated with a bulldog.