We’re going to try and do this after every game for both the mens and womens teams this season, we’ll share our “nuggets” or “takeaways” from each game. Just a few things that stood out to us that we feel is worth sharing with you. That being said, here’s what I took away from last night’s game at the Xfinity Center.
Vets led the way– The junior guard made things look so easy. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough ran the floor early to find a couple of easy baskets, than she kept it going by knocking down a couple of three pointers in the first quarter. A great indication of her aggressiveness on that end of the floor were her nine trips to the foul line. Mosley showed some of that senior leadership in her 23 minutes of play, with the game out of hand and several young teammates on the floor, it was she who led by example on the defensive end. Moseley got into the body of the ball handler and got three steals, leading to transition buckets for teammates. She also took her time in the halfcourt against the zone, doing a great job swinging the ball, but most importantly moving the defense with her eyes before delivering passes.
Defensive communication. While it wasn’t great, Maryland did do a good job talking on that end of the floor. There was a stark difference between opponents last night and last week. IUP’s ball movement was exceptional, really made the Terps defend for all 35 seconds. There was a ton of screening, the Crimson Hawks had a smaller team so even their bigs were living on the perimeter which gave Maryland’s bigs a chance to get out on the perimeter and close out on shooters, move their feet, etc. The Terps have the versatility to deal with a lot of offenses, only three to four players are defined to their role by their size limitations.
The long ball. Dealing with a packed in 2-3 zone in regards to ball movement is one thing, failing to knock down open triples is another. Maryland’s ball movement helped get great looks from beyond the arc against the zone. Their bigs did a good job flashing to the foul line and setting great screens on the baseline so guards in the corners were getting uncontested shots. On the night, Maryland shot just 5-of-20. Again, very good looks and very makable shots. That should improve as they see it more, but the bigs did a good job of flashing, screening and not forcing anything against IUP’s 2-3 defense.
Bullies on the Block. Brionna Jones continued to use her size to get what she wanted against IUP. In both exhibition games this season, the junior center got up and down the floor for easy baskets. She did a good job rim-running and an even better job of establishing position on the low block. Malina Howard also had a strong showing off of the bench, the Senior quietly had 10 points and 8 rebounds made an impact every time she came into the game on both ends of the floor. Fraser the freshman showed some things as well, the 6’3 big rarely brings the ball down when getting a rebound. She’s also a patient post player, she has a couple of good moves, but shows great patience for a freshman. She recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, five of which were on the offensive glass. I also love her ability to move her feet on the defensive end, like Jones and Howard, she runs the floor well.
Five-tool player. Kiah Gillespie didn’t have a great game, but when it was over she did a number on the box score. The frosh finished with 12 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. She wasn’t as in sync on the offensive end as in the first exhibition, but she used her deep toolbox to impact the game in other ways. At times you can’t tell whether she’s a post player or a wing, Maryland’s going to enjoy her contributions this season. Like her fellow class mate Brianna Fraser, Gillespie didn’t force it on the offensive end after missing a few shots. Instead, the youngster got into the paint and scored as a traditional big to get going. Again, the game comes too easy for her.