COLLEGE PARK -- As Maryland tried to deal with early trapping pressure from Bowie State on Tuesday night in College Park, sophomore center Michal Cekovsky helped to get things going offensively by (almost casually) playing a first half in which he came just one point shy of his career high in scoring -- for a game.
He would go on to score 14 points, setting a new personal best, in a 93-62 victory over the Division II Bulldogs at XFINITY Center.
"It's good for his confidence. I think defensively he was good, too, which is great to see. Any time you get up for 19, 20 minutes, whatever he plays, it's good."
Tuesday night was a rarity, though. Maryland will not often need that kind of scoring output from Cekovsky. If they do, that means that things aren't going well in another area because Cekovsky is the team's fourth big man and the fourth in the post from whom offense is expected.
Robert Carter, Jr. and Diamond Stone carry the offensive load, then Damonte Dodd adds what he can off the bench. Cekovsky helps in other ways.
Maryland has been able to avoid foul trouble in the post for much of the season, but his absence showed against Northwestern when those issues arose.
Out with an illness, Cekovsky was not available and freshman Diamond Stone picked up four fouls. Without another option to turn to aside from Carter and Dodd, Maryland had to survive late in an overtime win.
That's where the sophomore's talents will come into play down the stretch of the conference season and into tournament play.
"Coach always likes to tell me before every game, like, protect the basket, get rebounds, make impact on defense and that's basically it," he said.
Did he feel like he did some of those things on Tuesday, outside of scoring? "I tried," he said with a smile.