Maryland Terps

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Concern shouldn't be that Maryland lost to Wisconsin, but why


Concern shouldn't be that Maryland lost to Wisconsin, but why

COLLEGE PARK -- Even teams that are built to challenge for a run to the Final Four lose games, especially in this unpredictable college basketball season. You see it all over the country.

Just on Saturday, Virginia lost to Duke and Oklahoma lost to Kansas. Maryland’s 27-game home winning streak was snapped when it got bitten, too, in a 70-57 loss to Wisconsin. Head coach Mark Turgeon tried to focus on that fact when talking to the media postgame, echoing what he said to this players in the locker room.

“Reality is, we’re 22-4, OK? We’ve had a good year. Every team goes through it, OK?” he said. “This is really probably the biggest adversity we’ve hit because we lost a home game, so we’ll see how we handle it.”

And he’s right.

The concern coming out of Saturday’s game should not be that they lost. The concern should be the collection of reasons that led to the loss.

In its most basic form, all the loss really does for their list of goals is make it much tougher to win the Big Ten regular-season title. With Iowa having already mowed through the toughest part of its schedule, the Hawkeyes have the easier path because Maryland still has to go on the road to Purdue and to Indiana this season.

But the Big Ten tournament is still wide open and any Top 15 team that gets into the NCAA tournament, regardless of seed, will be a threat to make a Final Four push.

It is, instead, the 20 second-chance points surrendered to Wisconsin, the 40 percent shooting from the floor, the 57 percent shooting from the free-throw line, the four bench points, and the 1-of-14 shooting performance from point guard Melo Trimble that present the real issue.


“For my competitive nature I don’t think there’s anything as a good loss, but it could be an important loss,” senior guard Rasheed Sulaimon said. “I thought we were making strides in the right direction and this game kind of pointed some out some things that we need to get better on.

“Again, I think a loss like this, a game like this after we watch film can make us a lot better going forward.”

The script has flipped from earlier this season for Maryland.

Once unable to get defensive stops, like down in Chapel Hill in a shootout against North Carolina or at home against Georgetown, Maryland is now often shutting teams down defensively but is unable to keep pace offensively.

Few teams in the country have, over the course of a game, ranged from looking like an elite offense squad (see, Saturday’s 12-0 run in the first half) to struggling to even find a good shot (see, Saturday’s eight-minute stretch without a point in that same half) like Maryland.

There will be nights when teams hit shots, even with solid defense, and Saturday night was one of them. The confusing thing is that Maryland should be able to keep pace.

Though they have not played like it lately, the Terrapins’ starting five is one of the best on-paper offensive units in college basketball. But when Trimble shoots 1-of-14 from the floor and gets to the line (only?) 10 times while turning it over five times, the efficient heart of the Maryland offense is no longer there.

That then ripples outward to effect Robert Carter, Jr. (who took only five shots on Saturday) and Diamond Stone (who only took six) while Trimble and Sulaimon combined to shoot the ball 26 times.

Add in the free-throw numbers and the inability to finish at the rim and it becomes tough for Maryland to combat 12 Wisconsin threes.

“It’s just one of those nights,” Turgeon said. “Wisconsin was terrific.”

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Big Ten season comes to a close for Maryland in final seconds of second round


Big Ten season comes to a close for Maryland in final seconds of second round

NEW YORK -- After struggling with injuries and poor play most of the season, Wisconsin is peaking at the right time.

Brevin Pritzl broke a tie with a foul-line jumper with 28 seconds left and Khalil Iverson secured the win with a steal in the waning seconds, leading Wisconsin past Maryland 59-54 on Thursday in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.


Brad Davison and Iverson each made two free throws in the final nine seconds, and the ninth-seeded Badgers (15-17) advanced to the quarterfinals against top-seeded Michigan on Friday at Madison Square Garden after winning for the fifth time in seven games.

"It's a credit to these guys to my right and also the guys back in the locker room, how they've grown over the last month," Wisconsin coach Greg Gard said. "It has been fun to watch and hopefully we've got a lot more basketball yet to play."

The win wasn't pretty, but the Badgers made all the key plays down the stretch and eight-seeded Maryland (19-13) didn't.

The biggest plays were offensive rebounds by Iverson and Ethan Happ after Pritzl and Davison missed 3-point shots with the game tied at 53.

After the second miss with 40.3 seconds to go, Wisconsin called timeout and Pritzl got the game-winner 12 seconds later.

"I think, especially at the end of this game, the possessions are magnified," Davison said. "When you do things right those final possessions, you can really turn things around."

Maryland had a chance to tie the game when Kevin Huerter was fouled by Happ with 9.2 seconds to go, but he missed the first of two free throws and the Terps came up short for the seventh time in 11 games.

"I feel like we were fighting uphill all night," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. "We had the lead 24-23. It's the one time we had the lead. We tied it a bunch of times. It really came down to two things. We fouled too much and we couldn't get a rebound when we needed a rebound."


Happ had 14 points and seven rebounds for Wisconsin, which lost to Michigan State 68-63 less than a week ago. Davison finished with 13 points while Iverson had 11 and six rebounds and Pritzl 10 points. The Badgers, who lost starting point guard D'Mitrik Trice and reserve Kobe King to injuries in December, won despite shooting 36 percent.

"I personally figure we just have to string together an entire game for 40 minutes and just staying toe to toe with them like we did last game," Iverson said. "I know we'll be ready for them."

Huerter had 20 points to lead Maryland. Anthony Cowan Jr. added 16 points and Bruno Fernando had 12 points and nine rebounds.

Wisconsin never trailed in the second half, but it never led by more than three points in the final 11:40 until the closing seconds.

Pritzl's jumper broke a 53-all tie. Huerter then missed the first free throw and made the second. Maryland fouled Davison on the inbounds pass and he made both shots with 8.5 seconds to go for a 57-54 lead.

Wisconsin fouled Cowan rather than let him attempt a game-tying 3-pointer. Since it was a nonshooting foul, the Terps had to inbound with 5 seconds to go and Iverson stole Dion Wiley's pass and then closed the game with two free throws.

"He has evolved into our defensive end stopped," Gard said. "For him to come in and make a play like that at the end to seal it was great."


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Cowan, Fernando, Huerter receive All-Big Ten honors


Cowan, Fernando, Huerter receive All-Big Ten honors

In a roller-coaster season for the Maryland Terrapins, there have been three points of consistency on their roster: Anthony Cowan Jr., Kevin Huerter, and Bruno Fernando.

On Monday, the Big Ten awarded them each their first conference recognition.


Sophomore guard, Cowan was named the All-Big Ten Third Team and the All-Defensive Team. The 6-0 guard finished 10th in the Big Ten in scoring with 15.7 points per game. He also was third in assists (5.2) and steals (1.5). He was a nightmare to defend, filling right into the role that Melo Trimble left vacated this year. Both recognitions were from the Big Ten coaches and media.

Freshman forward, Fernando was selected for the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. Leading all freshmen with 6.4 rebounds and averaging 10.2 points a game, he instantly had an impact on the Terps. From Angola, the 6-10 forward capped his season with 21 points against Iowa on Jan. 7. In his first year, he went from a bench player to a starter, to Sportscenter. It was the first time ever a Terp has been named to the All-Freshman Team 

Huerter was named a Big Ten Honorable Mention by the coaches and media. Stepping into a new role in the 2017-18 season, Huerter struggled but still managed to be highly productive. With the ball in his hands more he shot 42.1 percent from deep and made 72 three-point baskets on the season. Already through two seasons, he is 12th on Maryland’s all-time three-point list.  He also scored 14.6 points a game.