Maryland has posted a mediocre 15-13 record (7-8 ACC) and really could — and should — be a 20-win team this season. The Terrapins’ early season problems began when Dez Wells was asked to take over the point guard position, and it was an experiment that failed miserably. It was not Wells’ fault, but the junior struggled to run on the fine line of being a passer first and a shooter second. This was a role he should have never been asked to play. Wells was benched early but recovered slowly throughout the season. Wells is averaging nearly 15 points per game, but with his talent, he should be in the running for the ACC player of the year instead of being an afterthought for an all-ACC team.
Maryland took way too long to find out what kind of team it really was. Seth Allen missed the first 12 games of the season and obviously that hurt. Even after Allen returned, he looked like a player who did not miss a single game, yet Maryland lost eight games. Allen is averaging 12.6 points per game and is a streaky shooter who is not afraid to gun it up. It seems that the entire team has a problem figuring out who should be shooting and when to shoot. Wells is the most talented player, but he does not see enough of the ball. Even worse, he is often put into situations where he has to shoot late in the shot clock.
The way the Terrapins have been playing has cost the team an NCAA tournament bid. It can easily be argued Maryland’s last three losses to the Syracuse Orange, the Duke Blue Devils and the Virginia Cavaliers could have been victories. In each of those games — especially against Syracuse and Duke — Maryland had a real chance to win. Scoring droughts in all three games eventually were too much to overcome, and had the offense actually been running plays the Terps could be on the bubble. The loss to Syracuse on Monday was a microcosm of this. Syracuse allowed Maryland to hang around for much of the game. The Orange zone was not extremely aggressive, but the Terrapins did not attack the 2-3 the way Boston College and Duke did. Maryland often times passed the ball around the arc. Players mostly stood around and looked like they were hoping someone would heave up a shot. Maryland shot poorly and still had two chances to come out with the upset. If Maryland had tried to go at the zone earlier, maybe the Terrapins could have come out victorious.
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