The number three ranked Maryland Terrapins got a wake up call as they rallied late in the second half to beat the Georgetown Hoyas 75-71. The game was not pretty for Maryland at all. The Hoyas jumped out to a 9-0 lead to start the game but Maryland would go on a 14-2 run to take the lead for the first time at 14-11.
It was a constant back and forth game between two schools 11 miles apart in a rivalry game. Near the end in the second half when the Hoyas took a 61-54 lead over the Terps, thinks looked real dim for Maryland. But that is when the light bulb went on and they would outscore the Hoyas 21-10 the rest of the way.
Let's take a look at what we learned from the game.
What We Learned
1.) Maryland still has issues against press defenses.
When the Terps lost to the West Virginia Mountaineers in the NCAA tournament last season, they struggled to bring the ball up the court and had no offense what so ever when point guard Melo Trimble left the game with a head injury.
The Terps are more balanced on offense than they were last season. They also have more depth at point guard. But this team still deals with confusion in their half court offense from time to time. When the Hoyas went to their press defense, they mixed it in with zone defenses. It made Maryland settle for a lot of jump shots. However, Maryland was at their best when they attacked the defense in the lane sending Trimble to slash throw the lane looking for either a bucket for himself or pass it to an open teammate.
2.) Freshman center Diamond Stone will get better as the season goes on.
There is a lot to rave about with Stone. He has the moves and the scoring mindset to be one of the best big men in college basketball. However, his defense still needs some work. When the Hoyas went to the paint, they made sure that center Bradley Hayes was matched up against him.
Hayes led the Hoyas with 16 points on the night with jump hooks leaving every Maryland frontcourt player confused at least once. Stone can work on his technique a bit more and stay confident on defense as bit more as well. It's his second game in his college career, so everyone has confidence that he will improve going forward.
3.) Maryland must do better against opponent second chance opportunities.
The Terps were out rebounded by the Hoyas 36-28 and the Hoyas had 10 offensive rebounds. Midway through the second half the Hoyas had 16 points on second chance opportunities. Everyone raves about Maryland's front court and the size and skill players they have up front. But if this team wants to make a serious run at a national title, they can't leave that many rebounds on the table and expect to go where they ultimately want to go.
Maryland is 2-0 and in a week where two top five teams lost, that's not half bad. However, this season is a work in progress so far. While their offense is still dangerous and they can shoot themselves out of a slump because of it, feeding the ball inside a bit more and front court players establishing position in the paint will do wonders for them.
Maryland's defense can also improve especially on the perimeter. When Maryland has been aggressive on defense, opponents have had a hard time scoring on them. Their defense will be the x factor going forward. If this team stays aggressive on the defensive end, there is no doubt that they will be where they want to be when March rolls around.