It’s been nearly a week since Kansas Jayhawks delivered a 79-63 victory over the Maryland Terrapins. Before the season, not many people (probably no one) saw the Terps being eliminated in the sweet 16, especially with such high expectations. It capped off an often frustrating season for one of the most talented teams in the country. In the game, the Terps saw some of their season-long weaknesses and inconsistencies surface at the wrong time, which pretty much sealed their fate.
One of the keys for a Maryland win was to physically pound Kansas down with their plethora of bigs. However, the big men for Maryland never got a chance to establish any sort of rhythmm because of early foul trouble. Both Diamond Stone and Robert Carter Jr. had to sit in the 1st half due to picking up fouls. Even the backup big men Dodd and Cekovsky (3 fouls in 6 minutes) had their own problems with fouls. The igs simply couldn’t stay in front of the quicker Kansas players without committing an infraction, which leads to the next point…
Why not go small (?)
It was evident early on that Carter couldn’t guard Ellis, so why didn’t Coach Turgeon move him to the center position (especially with Stone in foul trouble)? Maybe Turgeon didn’t want to slide Layman to the power forward defensively, leaving a Nickens to guard Selden. Or maybe he thought he would have to stay big to match Kansas’ size down low. With smaller guys, the floor would have been more open for driving lane, which could have hurt Kansas (see Villanova game).
3-Point shooting–or lack thereof
During conference play, I kept wondering whether Maryland was too streaky from deep. Early in the season, the Terps looked like a team that would be very solid from behind the 3-point line, but once conference play came around, they came back down to earth. Against Kansas, the team shot 5-25 from deep (20%), and found no rhythm whatsoever. Trimble also continued his shooting struggles from deep, only going 1-7 from behind the line, a scene Terps fans got too familiar seeing down the stretch.
There is absolutely no reason that the Terps should have been outrebounded 43-28 given the collective size of their big men. The only excuse they could have had was if Kansas was shooting a scorching percentage from the field, but they didn’t. 5’11’ Frank Mason had 5 rebounds for Kansas;6′ 8” Robert Carter had a team-high of 6 for Maryland. Let that sink in..