Bully on the Block. Brionna Jones has been special for Maryland this season, it’s still early, but she’s made it clear that she’s a key part of this team. The center has played well on both sides of floor, rebounding well and just being a consistent and reliable threat. Her presence allows Maryland to bully teams inside and dictate the pace of play, anytime their offense got a bit out of whack, they’d get the ball inside to Jones.
Facilitator. Typically this is where Brene Moseley or Chloe Pavlech would be mentioned, last night it was all about SWK. Shatori did a great job setting the table for teammates, keeping the ball moving and picking her spots to score. Her full grasp of the game was on display last night and her impact went even further than her impressive line in the box score. That’s factoring in the highly uncharacteristic eight turnovers.
Lock Down. The Terps perimeter defense was beautiful last night, they did a great job running players off of the three point line without conceding drives to the rim. Nearly everything in a half court setting was highly contested, they did a number on Syracuse’s Brianna Butler and Alexis Peterson. More importantly, they finished many of those possessions with defensive rebounds. It was an impressive display of execution on that end of the floor.
The Pfirminator. Tierney was outstanding last night, she started the season injured and is trying to get her legs under her. Still, her performance last night was impressive with or without her being at 100% physically. She showed a great shot, quick release, and high IQ. She left a heck of an impression on me and I couldn’t have been the only one. She’s a great piece for Maryland, especially with the type of versatility they have amongst their bigs. I think she’ll play big minutes against teams that try to pack things in and zone the Terps.
Turnovers. It didn’t cost them last night, but if Maryland hopes to contend for a championship and take that next step from their two Final Four runs, they can’t turn the ball over 22 times in a game. Aganst a better opponent, that could be the game. They play the Uconn Huskies December 28th, 22 turnovers against the Huskies could easily result in a double-digit loss. I do believe they’ll tighten it up going forward as they have the talent to do so.
Freshman Kiah Gillespie is still trying to find her rhythm on the offensive end, despite going 1-for-8 from the field I was impressed by her overall effort in the game. The youngster led Maryland in rebounding with nine despite a rough night on the offensive end, she also was aggressive in taking shots. Kiah is far too talented for her struggles to become a concern, when she gets comfortable the Terps should be able to kick into a higher gear. Oh, those nine rebounds came in just 12 minutes playing time for the entire contest.