Welcome to our next edition of "The Five," where we take a look at five trends from Maryland's last game, a 79-59 loss to Pittsburgh Jan. 6 at the Petersen Events Center.
Move it or Lose it
Maryland had just eight assists against the Panthers. Despite facing a 2-3 zone, the Terps played way too much one on one and did far too much dribbling to force Pitt's defense to rotate quickly. Ball movement is key for beating the zone.
Maryland HAS to take better care of the ball. Pitt had 18 points off of 13 Maryland turnovers. It is not just about the number of turnovers, but where you turn the ball over. The Terps coughed up the ball in costly situations that led to easy points for the Panthers. Maryland built a three point lead with about six minutes left in the first half, thanks to a putback by Charles Mitchell and a driving layup by Seth Allen before going over four minutes without scoring. During that scoring drought the Terps turned the ball over four times. Bottom Line: It's hard to score when you don't have the ball.
Block out or be Blocked
Jake Layman had an off shooting night, but he did make an effort to attack the rim. However, he failed to keep his body between the defender and the basket, making his shot easy to block without fouling (which happened on two of his layup attempts). Had Layman used his body to get behind his shot, the Pitt defender would have had to foul him to knock the ball away.
I understand that shooters need to keep shooting regardless of how many of their shots are dropping, but that is not Evan Smotrycz's role. He missed three 3s in the first two minutes of the second half, and finished 4-of-13 for the night. Smotrycz has got to be more aggressive down in the paint; he has the ability, but he has to be willing to play a more physical brand of basketball.
Stuck in Cruise Control
The Terps were also not aggressive in transition, and they had just four fast-break points Jan. 6. Without any established post game, scoring points in transition would be an easy way for Maryland to change the numbers on the scoreboard.
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