Thursday, November 25, 2004

Maryland 93, Mercer 67

Maryland won by 27 points last night and they stunk. They were terrible. Keep in mind that the score in these early season cupcake games are meaningless. Teams like Maryland will beat teams like Mercer. In most cases, the Mercer’s of the world can hang on for about 10 minutes. After that, the top teams usually take over thanks to huge advantages in size and bench depth.

Given these facts, it is instructive to look at some other statistics besides the final score to determine how well Maryland played last night. Let’s take a look at some:

Turnovers: 22

With 17 assists last night, Maryland had an assist/turnover ratio under 1. Translation: they played careless. To make matters worse, in two combined games, the Terps have 43 turnovers! That is absolutely unacceptable for a team of Maryland’s caliber playing against the likes of Jackson State and Mercer. Gilchrist had five turnovers himself. He needs to play better against Memphis if Maryland is going to win.

Big Man Play:

Ekene Ibekwe: 1-9 FG, 2-6 FT! We played Mercer! These numbers are atrocious against anyone, let alone Mercer. Will Bowers came in and looked completely lost. I am giving up hope on him ever becoming a player. He is a poor man’s Mike Mardesich. Now that is saying something.


Mercer shot 43% from 3PT range (9-21). The perimeter defense is terrible. At times, Maryland looked as if they have never played defense together. Mercer consistently found open shots and the guards will able to get penetration into the paint. This needs to improve as the schedule gets tougher.

Some Positives:

James Gist played well, but I haven’t seen anything but dunks from the guy. Hopefully, he has a medium range game of some kind.

Maryland plays Memphis on Friday at a neutral site. The Terps are experienced enough to beat this team, but if they don’t improve turnovers, big man play, and the defensive intensity, they will lose badly.

I have faith. Gary will get the team ready to play. Go Terps.

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