Michigan 81, Maryland 46: A New Low

Michigan 81, Maryland 46: A New Low
Michigan 81, Maryland 46: A New Low

With two weeks to mentally and physically recover from that three-game losing streak and ugly blowout at home to UCLA, Maryland looked set for a New Years Day type of rebound game, literally a chance to clean up the game. slate and start over in a new year. Instead, the Terps stumbled and fell on their faces right out of the starting gate, suffering an embarrassing 81-46 blowout, the program’s biggest losing margin in a Big Ten game since arriving at the conference in 2014.

it went wrong right away … This team has developed an unwelcome tendency to get off to bad starts, much like its predecessors under Marc Turgeon. They fell to a 17-0 hole, missing shots at one end and helplessly watching the Michigan star Hunter Dickinson score on the other.

Dickinson immediately got going, losing Julian Reese after setting up a screen and shooting down an 18ft. Reese tried to answer but pulled short, Donta Scott coughed the ball and failed to raise his hand Terrence Williams – looking keen to help Reese on Dickinson, who physically overpowered the slim sophomore and Williams made an undisputed three on him. Donald Carey lost track of a pass and the ball went out of bounds, and Kobe Bufkin hit a three. Scott repeatedly tried to start, but his recent meltdown continued. Dickinson took advantage of Reese twice in the post and after four minutes Kevin Willard’s side were trailing 12-0.

Reese awkwardly tried to respond against Dickinson but missed badly, then Dickinson muscled him in again from the baseline, earning a three-point game. In the blink of an eye, Michigan had taken a 17-0 lead, a start that made Maryland’s immediate collapse against UCLA a few weeks ago look competitive. In that 27-point loss, they trailed 19-5 midway through the first half. In their loss to Tennessee, they trailed 17-7 midway through the first half. The trend is obvious. But unlike other times, it didn’t happen against a ranked team. Michigan entered the game at 7-5, after a bad loss to Central Michigan.

“The bad start. Three or four games we started and we just managed to find a way out,” Willard said.

Starters are collapsing … Maryland’s starting five was one of the best in the nation in that 8-0 start that feels like a year ago. But they have crumbled lately. Senior Donta Scott, who was so good at the start of the season, is 26 out of 80 (32.5%) in his last seven games. From three points, he has managed 6 of his last 35. Scott consistently posts double-digit field goal attempts, which might be unavoidable as the team is short on a lot of shooters, but they need him back to his early days. seasonal form. He doesn’t seem comfortable lately.

To keep Donald Carey, who scored 19 points in Maryland’s last game against UMBC, fell back into its slump with an 0-for-8 day of three. He seems to overthink his shot instead of letting it fly. His backcourt mate, Jahmir Youg, was Maryland’s best player in a recent series of games against tough opponents. But he was also in bad shape, and Willard sat him down for more than half the game.

And the Reese center had a tough day at the office. Dickinson is a grown man, a 7-foot-1 physical center who loves bumping into the paint. Slim Reese doesn’t appreciate such contact, resulting in a lopsided game that set the tone in Dickinson’s first flurry of goals. Dickinson, Maryland’s longtime foe, is still motivated to play the Terps. He went crazy, scoring 32 points on 13 of 16 shooting, and he could have scored 40 if the blowout hadn’t limited him to 28 minutes. Reese looked understandably crestfallen, fouling out with two rebounds and two points in 16 minutes. This is where not adding a bruised big man in the offseason hurts. Patric Emilien, a 6-foot-7, 210-pound tweener playing center out of necessity, fouled out in 14 minutes.

It’s rare for both of your centers to foul in a combined 30 minutes, but it was that kind of day, and that glaring post problem will remain so throughout Big Ten play. The question is whether Willard can find a strategy to counter this weakness, which is very difficult because his team does not make jumpers. The Terps continued to struggle from the ground up, shooting 5 for 25 from three.

How did that happen… With his starters missing every shot, Willard brought in a freshman Noah Batchelor in the game, but went 0 for 4. His first three were waived, but he was fouled on his second and made one of three free throws, giving Maryland its first two near points six minutes after the start of the game. Just as tough as Maryland’s lone point had come, Michigan’s came as easily, pushing the lead to 19-1, then Carey kicked a 3-point fly ball.

Carey had an open look and again missed badly, Scott forced a basic workout that stood no chance. Eight minutes had passed without a single basket when Ian Martinez eventually hit an open three for their first bucket of the game. It was Martinez’s only bucket in eight attempts.

Michigan’s score eventually slowed, but Maryland couldn’t take advantage, with Young and hakim hart forcing during practices, Hart’s shot clumsily rising above the rim like an alley-oop to an unseen defender. Maryland somehow survived Michigan’s three straight offensive rebounds without scoring, but that chance was squandered when Carey missed from 30 feet. They got another save, but Hart fired a wild out pass past Martinez and out of bounds. Bufkin passed Martinez, forcing Reese to spin and fed Dickinson for a dunk. It was 25-4, almost 13 minutes had passed and Maryland had scored a field goal.

Trailing 27-5, Scott missed badly, his fifth miss on five shots and Maryland’s 18th miss on 19 shots, but Hart grabbed the rebound and converted a three-point play. It was Maryland’s second basket of the game and their first two-pointer after nearly 14 minutes of play. Reese has already committed two fouls, as has his substitute, Patrick Emilien.

As Young was on the bench to start the second half, his replacement, JahariLong, immediately made a three from the corner. Long (4-9, nine points) brought more energy and confidence than anyone in a Maryland uniform.

Scott was stuffed with a late shot clock, Williams passed Emilien for a lay-up and Willard was forced to call another timeout as the scoreline grew increasingly outrageous, at 31-7. Reese attempted to score into the post, but floated the ball over the edge almost identical to Hart’s unusual airball earlier.

In a fitting final sequence at the end of the half, Scott missed another in a series of circus shots with no chance, Young was stuffed after grabbing the rebound to force a shot clock violation, and Dug McDaniel ran downfield and fired a high-difficulty shot at Emilien at the buzz to make it 44-14 at halftime.

Most of the starters were benched to start the second half, with Batchelor Martinez, Long and Emlien taking their places. Batchelor attempted to battle the much taller Dickinson for a rebound but had no chance to challenge his lay-up.

A frustrated Willard committed a technical foul early in the second half with Terps down 32 after contesting a contact foul on Emilien. Emilien fouled with 14:10 to go, forcing Willard to put Reese back.

In a rare respite from misery, Scott caught a loose ball, dribbled downfield and dived hard Will Tschetter while being cluttered. It didn’t matter with the deficit still 33 points, but it was ultimately positive for Scott, who had missed his first eight shots. Dickinson responded with a bucket inside, giving him 30 points with nine minutes left.

Freshman center Caelum Swanton-Roger showed the engine the coaching staff loves, throwing a dunk, blocking Tarris Reed’s shot, then running down and firing a foul on Reed while chasing the rebound. After the foul, he screened, rolled to the basket, took a pass from Batchelor and threw another two-handed dunk. It was a brief streak, but he briefly edged rookie Reed, ranked 35th in the nation last year, in his best streak of the season. He could see a few extra minutes with the team’s lack of greats.

In another late sequence that summed up their evening, Cornish Ike attempted a step back three, but fired his second airball of the half. Long tried to dive with his left hand on the break, but couldn’t get it down. Batchelor grabbed the rebound and fired it under the basket, but his contested layup rumbled off the backboard, hitting no part of the rim.

. Michigan Maryland

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