Bench Comes Alive in Win vs Florida Southern

As the Terps' season approaches, team shows off their depth

It was no surprise when Adrian Bowie, Sean Mosley, Cliff Tucker, Dino Gregory and Jordan Williams took the court as the Terps’ starting five Monday night. Thirty-three points from the bench, however, came out of the blue.

The Maryland starters combined for 73 points, including four Terrapins in double-digits. Williams led the way with 18 points and seven rebounds, followed by 15 apiece from Tucker and Bowie and 15 from Mosley. The inside presence that is Jordan Williams, however, appeared to be the offensive strategy.

“They’re going to try to look for me and Dino [Gregory] first. Then, when they collapse on me and Dino, it will open up for [the guards],” Williams said.

In his first chance to shine at the team’s starting point guard, Bowie dished out six dimes. He was only outdone by the breakout performance of Tucker, who added 10 assists and six rebounds to his 15 points.

“I can do a lot of things instead of just scoring. I can do whatever it takes to help this team win,” Tucker said. “I’ve been waiting for this year ever since I’ve been here. It’s only an exhibition game but hopefully I can continue to keep playing like this for the rest of the year.”

Led by rookies Terrell Stoglin and Haukur Palsson, Maryland’s rookies totaled 24 points coming off the bench. Stoglin showed some inexperience turning the ball over five times, while Palsson erupted in the second half for eight points, including two from the three-point line.

“We have a lot more guys that can come off the bench and score,” Williams said. “It’s definitely exciting to think about.”

After the game, head coach Gary Williams announced his rotation is not set in stone yet, and that these early season games are valuable learning experiences for them to figure out how to play and get used to winning.

A 106-58 victory of Florida Southern may not be the biggest win the Terps will experience on the season, but it does provide a boost of confidence heading into new era in Maryland basketball.

“Regardless of the team, we still got 100 points. Scoring is scoring and we did a good job of doing that,” Williams said.

While the scoring was contagious, turnovers were scarce. The Terps turned the ball over 17 times compared to 27 total assists. The head coach credited the team-first mentality.

“We were unselfish. Usually, if you’re unselfish you are not going to have a lot of turnovers because the ball moves to the open guy,” Williams said.

Florida Southern has won their conference regular season championship the past three seasons, and has won their postseason tournament two of the past three times. So while this was not a matchup against the Blue Devils or Tar Heels on the first of November, it did provide the ultimate confidence heading into the season.

“I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people,” Tucker said. “A lot of people don’t think we’re going to be as good as we were last year just because of the guys we lost, but we know that we can be a great team this year, we can be even better if we really want to.”

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