By: Jack Rothenberg
Basketball returned to College Park for the first time in 262 days, as the Terrapins defeated Old Dominion 88-65. Maryland got off to a slow start, per usual, but ended the first half on a 16-4 run to take a 42-29 lead into halftime. From that point, they coasted to a victory, led by the four players who had big roles on last season’s Big Ten title team. Senior guards Eric Ayala and Daryll Morsell, along with junior guard Aaron Wiggins and sophomore forward Donta Scott combined for 57 points in the win.
This 2020-2021 Terps team is filled with new faces. Five players departed from last year’s squad including Anthony Cowan and Jalen Smith, and five new ones have come in with hopes to fill in the gaps. Those five new players include three freshman, senior forward Galen Smith, and junior guard Jarius Hamilton. Smith and Hamilton both transferred from power five conference schools and should play pivotal roles for Maryland throughout this season. The two transfers combined for 11 points and 6 rebounds Wednesday afternoon.
Due to COVID-19, Maryland was unable to play any exhibition games this season, which could play a major factor as we watch these non-conference games unfold. It is apparent that head coach Mark Turgeon is still trying to figure out the rotation as he substituted in groups of four throughout the game. Maryland went with nine players for the majority of the contest and it will be interesting to see how Turgeon adjusts the lineup moving forward.
Ayala, Morsell, Wiggins, and Scott need to play well in order for the Terps to make some noise in a conference crowded with talented teams. They will look to build off their 1-0 start against the Navy Midshipmen this Friday, November 27th. Similar to the start of the football season, it’s awesome just to see college basketball back in action after the disappointing end to the 2019-2020 season.
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