The Terrapins are nearly done with their tune up games, they face Detroit Friday morning at the Xfinity Center. Last night they faced High Point, a scrappy undersized bunch. The Panthers activity kept the game relatively interesting for a quarter before the more talented team took over. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough had a career night, a few other players stepped up and Maryland won handily, 105-50. Here are a few things I took away from the game.
Zone Busters. While the Terps weren’t perfect in this area, there were markedly better against the zone this week versus their previous opponent. There was far more patience in using passing to break down the zone, settling for great looks rather than good. The best example was a possession in the first half, where Maryland exhausted every opportunity before finding SWK for a wide open jump shot in the short corner. As the ball approached the cylinder, the buzzer went off. Definitely something to build off of going forward as they might see a ton of zone this season.
Tone Setter. Carer high for the Junior who did so while leaving the game with three minutes left in the third quarter. An outstanding start yet again, she really sets the tone for this team. Scoring 19 points in 18 first half minutes, finishing with 26 points and 10 rebounds on the night. SWK also got it done on defense with four blocks and two steals. After the game Coach Frese mentioned that SWK would have to be aggressive to start games until her teammates are ready to step up and join her in the scoring department.
Ms. Versatility. Kiah Gillespie made an amazing one-handed pass after grabbing a board and pushing it up court. It was a left handed pass at that, the frosh would do something similar at the start of the second half She grabs a board, pushes it up court, lets the defense settle and than rifles a pass down to Chloe Pavlech who was stationed underneath the basket. She’s been working on a reverse spin in the post, clearly as she went to it back-to-back on consecutive possessions. The youngster also made a 60-foot chest pass to a streaking SWK for an easy lay in. More importantly, this has been the second straight game in which she’s the second player behind SWK to get things going offensively.
Warriors Basketball. While the Terps didn’t shoot great from beyond the arc, they generated outstanding looks. They’d connect on 10 of their 24 attempts, Gillespie hit both of her attempts and SWK hit three of her five attempts. With their ball movement, they can expect to get more of these looks it’s just about knocking them down. Maryland has more than enough capable shooters though as seven players took at least one shot from beyond the arc.
Glue. Every team needs it, a championship can’t be won without it. Just a few games it’s taken me no time to see who will be that glue player for the Terps. It’s early still, but I have Kiara Leslie as that player. Even on a poor shooting night, her impact was evident as she did the little things. The Sophomore did a great job on the glass, pulling down seven on the night, but six of them were on the offensive end. She also moved the ball well as she had four assists and was her normal disruptive self on the defensive end with two steals. There will be several games this season where her effort, activity, and skill move the needle in the Terps favor.