In that moment, Howard officially became a Terp.
Maryland head coach Gary Williams told Howard he had confidence in his true freshman guard to make the team when they drew up the play. And much like the last superstar who used to don the No. 21 for the Terps, he came up clutch when his team needed him to the most.
For a freshman to come up with a big shot like – it is absolutely huge, Terps center Jordan Williams said after the game. Howard scored 10 second-half points to help him team overcome the Cougars lead. He finished the game with 14 points to go along with four assists.
Although it was just the second game on the season, Williams felt this was a test of skill and toughness. The Cougars should be the number one contender in the Southern Conference, according to Williams, and have beat powerhouses in the ACC in the past. A win established a sense of character in his young team.
We were very fortunate to win that game. The best thing we did – we didnt quit, Williams said. If you watch the players and you watch the adversity, referring to turnovers, poor free-throw shooting and missing easy shots, All those things were reasons for us not to win this game but we found a way.
The Terps were led by a career-best effort by Williams, who exploded for an astounding 26 points and 15 rebounds in 37 minutes on the court. Williams was dominant on the interior, but also showed off some finesse with a hook shot. His reliable scoring, according to his coach, saved the night.
The most solid thing you can have in basketball is the ability to get the ball inside, and then have a guy who can finish, Williams said, especially when the team shoots poorly from the perimeter. You need guys who can finish when youre struggling, and thats what Jordan gave us tonight.
Maryland shot just over 50 percent from the field, very similar to their production against Seattle. Their leading scorer Monday, however, was not as effective. Sean Mosley scored just three points on the game, with his first bucket coming three and a half minutes into the second half.
Sean [Mosley] looked tired tonight, and that happens to players, Williams said.
Cliff Tucker assumed the responsibility of the Cougars most electric player, Andrew Goudelock. The guard led the game with his spot-on shooting, supplying 27 points, including five from the three-point line.
Jordan Williams called the display something you might have expected out of NBA
Street, and was surprised he even missed eight shots. His head coach, however, was not shocked at all.
By this point in his career, he is as good as some of so-called big names that were recruited at the same time, saying he could play with anybody and beat anybody. When you give a shooter or a scorer, which Williams believe Goudelock fits both descriptions, confidence, he can have a great night. It seemed like every time we made a mistake on him he made a shot.
After looking at the final statistics, he laughed, pointing to the fact that he at least held him to under 30 points.
Williams also expressed dissatisfaction with the teams free-throw shooting. The 27.8 percentage is something he called a product of youth. When you miss early it is contagious. Were working on it; thats all you can do.