COLLEGE PARK -- Ohio State coach Thad Matta said he still needs to figure out whether the 100-65 drubbing that his team took on Saturday against Maryland in College Park was more the result of game planning or his players not being prepared to play.
But he’s also not sure that there were many teams in the country who could have beaten the Terrapins while they were on a tear like that.
“Maryland played as well as maybe any team I’ve ever coached against,” Matta said. “I don’t know today, with the way they were playing, if we had played our best basketball we would have had a chance to win.”
It was one of those nights for Maryland, a lethal combination of cohesiveness and shot-making to take advantage of an Ohio State defense that lost its edge after the first few minutes of the game.
Saturday was a complete 180-degree turn from what took place last year in Columbus, where the D’Angelo Russell-led Buckeyes trounced the Terrapins.
Russell is now on to the NBA, which can help to explain the difference between the two games, but Maryland is also a year older and infused with two new, highly talented centerpieces in the front court -- Robert Carter, Jr. and Diamond Stone.
Those two combined to scored 37 points and grab 11 rebounds against an Ohio State team that could not compete inside.
“Those guys, with their size and their skill level, this is as good a front line as there is in college basketball,” Matta said. “What Carter did tonight was incredible.”
That’s before even mentioning Rasheed Sulaimon, whose season-high 22 points made up the other half of the relentless inside-out attack from Maryland.
Matta credits one person with being able to bring all of that talent together -- a player who did not score a single point until the second half, which probably proves the coach’s point.
“When you have a point guard like [Melo] Trimble,” Matta said, “you welcome in three guys of that talent level and I think that he probably deserves a ton of credit because he has a very unique ability to keep everybody happy.”
Maryland returns to the floor on Tuesday against Northwestern.