Can Turgeon make the adjustments needed to do damage in the Big Dance?
Zachary Wilson 3/17/19
The Terps put a less than stellar loss to Nebraska during the Big Ten Tournament in the rear view mirror as March Madness shifts to the NCAA tournament. The Terrapins are ranked 6th in the east region.
Maryland`s loss to the Cornhuskers was representative of a problem seen throughout this season: bench inadequacy. While Bruno Fernando was held silent by harsh Nebraska defense, the Terp`s bench contributed 6 points-all 6 coming from Aaron Wiggins. Maryland entered this contest seemingly unprepared for Nebraska`s potential to guard Fernando, not fully considering what they would do without him.
Promising performances from Cowan (18 PTS, 3-7 from 3), Morsell (14 PTS, 2 STLs, 5 ASTs), and Ayala (12 PTS, 4 REB, 7-7 FTs) kept Maryland close, but Nebraska shot 7% better than UMD to edge out the Terps 69-61.
Looking towards the Big Dance, Maryland will play the winner of Belmont/Temple on March 19th. Either will be a stern test for Maryland. With the Terps tendency to underestimate lowly opponents, many have selected the 11 seed over Maryland.
Turgeon needs to create a complete gameplan in the event that either potential opponent plays with ferocity. Using their prior losses as benchmarks, particularly Illinois, Penn State and Nebraska, expect Maryland to pull through (this time).
In the next round UMD would likely play the SEC terror of LSU. This is a terrifying matchup, as the Tiger`s balanced offensive assault and rebounding pose a threat to a potential Maryland run. For Maryland to win they would need a strong performance from Bruno Fernando. They absolutely cannot afford another silent night from him and weak bench play. LSU is simply a more well-oiled machine than the Terps, yet, in the fears of many bracket makers across the nation, you can never count Maryland out of any contest.
In hoping for a huge tournament run, only one thing can be said: Let’s Go Terps!
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