The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 17 – Minnesota vs Maryland

The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 17
Minnesota vs Maryland

The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 17

Minnesota vs Maryland

 

March 8 – Minnesota vs Maryland

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After work I made a stop at my favorite liquor store “Christo’s Discount Liquors”, in Glen Burnie. This is the same liquor store that sponsors a soccer team that had a magical run in the US open cup a few years ago. When I was there I picked up a couple of variety pack IPA’s by Heavy Seas and Flying Dog. Both are local Maryland craft breweries. After that I picked up my kids from my brother in laws house. That is where my mother in law was watching the kids. I then went home to prepare to leave for the game. I was still waiting for a credential. I thought that it might be mailed, but it wasn’t. I called the location where I normally pick up my credential and they said that they did not have one for me. I then called and emailed Keith Sneddon of Maryland, and received an email immediately saying they will have a credential at the location for me. I was on my way. It was around 5:15 p.m. when I left. I traveled the back way to I-295 from my house. I know how terrible the road is right now because they are working on it, and it was also sleeting/snowing again. It seems like every game I go to this season it’s either raining or snowing. Crazy. So, I get almost all the way to the location and I decided to double check my email. Good thing I did. I got an email saying my credential will be at media will call instead of the other location. I was running late, which seems to be a theme for me this season. So, I made a quick and inspired left turn onto campus in the bad weather. Pretty ballsy move since I was quickly approaching an intersection. When I arrived at the Xfinity center and I was settled it was only 6:43 p.m. By the grace of God I made it before the game. I then took some pre game notes and ate a half of roasted chicken salad sandwich, pasta salad and half of a roast beef sandwich. I would finish the rest at halftime.

This was a big game for Minnesota and Maryland. For Minnesota they sit on the bubble, but closer to the good side than the bad. Maryland is trying to gain some momentum before heading into the conference tournament and improving their seed for the NCAA tournament. They started the process in doing this by winning 69-60 and it wasn’t really that close. This game was all Maryland from the start. Jalen Smith played one of his better games for Maryland. Stix, as he is known, is still developing his game on both ends. He can do a little bit of everything, but he really needs to work on his body. He will probably test the NBA draft waters to get some advice before returning to school. Stix had 19 points, 3 three-pointers, eleven rebounds and three blocks. If Maryland wants to play deep into March Stix is one of the huge factors for them as a freshman. Bruno Fernando had his usual eleven points and eleven rebounds. Bruno has an energy that no one else on the court can match. He is an all time hype man. Think Lil Jon, just 6’10 and 240 pounds. Anthony Cowan got going for the terps as well. He had 21 points and five assists. Cowan has been very streaky this season. It will really come down to his play to how far Maryland goes.

Minnesota just struggled to score. If Amir Coffey is struggling to score or create Minnesota will lose. They just don’t have enough creators or playmakers on offense. Coffey was stifled early. He only had six points in the first half. He eventually finished with 23 points and six assists. Coffey had a good run to close the gap midway into the second half, but it wasn’t enough. He is a very streaky jump shooter. He is at his best when he attacks the land uses his length and size. Jordan Murphy had foul trouble throughout the game. He never really got to exploit the matchups as much as Minnesota wanted him to. At 6’7 and 250 pounds he is a tough task to guard in the post, but since he doesn’t have much range to extend the defense it can be a problem when the opposition has solid bigs. Murphy did make two three-pointers in the game, but he only had made four on the season. So my point still stands. Murphy is an intriguing prospect.

 

After the game I waited around to attend both press conferences. Richard Pitino’s was pretty short and cut and dry. He knows his team sits in a decent position, but would benefit greatly from another win. As I was waiting for Mark Turgeon’s some local journalists were talking about a few things and I heard the name Steve Buckhantz brought up. Buckhantz is the play-by-play announcer for the Washington Wizards. I have grown up listening to him. His partner Phil Chenier was replaced on the broadcast this past season. Now, news has come out that it looks like Buckhantz will not return next season. I will sure miss his signature “Dagger!” call.

 

After the press conference I walked out to my car, which was in the important people lot, right in front of the arena. I have never parked this close. It was awesome baby with a capital A (channeled my inner Dickie V there). On my ride home I listened to music and sports talk. When I arrived back home around 10:20 p.m. everyone was in bed. I then went into my man cave downstairs to watch the Wizards game I had recorded. I have a projector down there; so, it’s a pretty cool setup. I drank a couple of IPA’s I picked up from earlier in the day and then started nodding off. I didn’t finish the Wizards game. That would have to wait for the morning. I retired for the night around 12:15 a.m. I can’t keep up with the young guns anymore.

The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 16 – Michigan vs Maryland

The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 16 – Michigan vs Maryland

 

March 3 – Michigan vs Maryland

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 Lucky me. Once again I was blessed with the opportunity to sleep in. Remember, I went to sleep at like 2 a.m. My wife got up with the kids probably around 9 a.m. I slept until 11:20 or so. Now, once you have kids you never sleep straight through the night. It’s impossible. There is an internal clock that is always going off at random times. This could be for a number of reasons. I blame it on the times of waking up at 4 to 4:30 to give the kids a bottle; or, when I worked at a liquor distributor and had to wake up around the same time. Nevertheless, I slept in! I woke up and had a shower. I ate some potato soup with the family, and proceeded to watch “The Kitchen”, on Food Network. Look….. I either watch sports or food shows. That’s what I live by. You can judge however you want.

 

I left for the game at 2:15, for the 3:45 tip in College Park. Well it started sleeting basically. So I-295 was a lot of fun. People really can’t drive in any type of weather. It could be too windy, too cold, too hot, too sunny or too dark. It doesn’t matter people suck at driving, especially in this area. I picked up my credential at a location on campus and then parked in the parking garage. The walk was about five minutes or so to the arena. I have arrived. I grabbed a water, two cheeseburger sliders, some tortilla chips, and then made my way to my seat. I was just happy that I was in the building. Keith Sneddon, a communications director for men’s basketball for the University of Maryland, squeezed me in. It was much appreciated. It was Maryland’s 100 years of basketball celebration. There was a ton of legends in the building. Gary Williams, Tom McMillen, Steve Blake, Drew Nicholas, Lonny Baxter, Tony Massenburg, and Melo Trimble just to name a few. It was a huge game and nationally televised. Michigan had their own celebration planned.

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The game was pretty back and forth throughout. Michigan eventually took the lead for good midway into the second half. They started making some three’s late and that is what put the terps away. The crazy part about this game was that both teams starting five’s scored in double figures. Ignas Brazdeikis was the player that Maryland struggled with the most. At 6’7 215, he showed an ability to attack the rim and draw contact, or pull up for jumpers. Darryl Morsell just couldn’t do enough to stop him. Iggy beat him off the dribble regularly. Iggy fed into the crowd big time. They were chanting “you are ugly”, during foul shots. Mark Turgeon had the PA announcer tell the students not to do that cheer. They listened, but were still booing and verbally going at him all game. Iggy was blowing kisses and acted like they weren’t loud enough. He finished with 21 points and seven rebounds. The big Jon Teske had the task of slowing down Bruno Fernando. He made Bruno work and was a real obstacle for Bruno down low. Teske is developing his jump shot and starting to add some range to it. He made one three pointer out of six attempts, but the potential is there. He needs to add some lift and arc to his shot to do so. Zavier Simpson is a player that was transported from like 1940. He is a throwback point guard. Zavier is a past first guard and a lockdown defender. He rarely looks to score. When he does score it’s likely from a running hook shot to the right side of the basket. Now this hook shot is not Kareem’s. Kareem would catch the ball in the post, maybe make a move or dribble and go up. Simpson is literally driving from the perimeter to a specific spot and then kissing the ball high off the glass. It’s some crazy muscle memory voodoo going on there. Like seriously, how much has he shot that shot? (Patrick Ewing reference). Simpson made like three or four in the game and they were all clutch shots near the end of a shot clock.

 

To me the game was attainable for Maryland. The one player that they really ride or die by struggled mightily. Anthony Cowan could not buy a bucket. He was 4-15 from the field and 1-7 from three. That is not going to get it done. He also had 4 turnovers and four fouls. It just wasn’t his day. Bruno was effective like his usual self. He had twelve points, ten rebounds and six blocks. No shot is safe around him in the paint. He can cheat and be exposed in the post at times though. Overall Maryland just didn’t play disciplined enough on defense. They were bad in the pick and roll with Simspon, and Iggy just cut them up on drives.

 

After the game I debated going to the press conference, but it was about 6 p.m. on a Sunday and I had pizza waiting for me at home! I met up with my Dad to give him a ride back to his vehicle back at our church in Glen Burnie. He rode to the game with a group that goes to Maryland games from our church, Faith Baptist Church. We walked to the garage on campus, waited a solid 15 minutes to get out of it and then waited another 15 minutes to get off campus. After all of this and talking about the game with my dad on the ride home, I arrived at my house around 7:35. This big basketball weekend for me was capped off with some truffle fries, pizza and whiskey and coke. SOLID WEEKEND.

 

Side Note – Red Panda was the halftime entertainment. ELECTRIC CITY.

 

 

The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 9 – Nebraska @ Maryland

The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 9 – Nebraska @ Maryland

The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 9

January 2 – Nebraska vs Maryland

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I got off work around 3 ish. I drove about 20 minutes or so to my parents house to pickup my kids. The game was a 6:30 start time. Weird start time in my opinion but what can you do. I guess it was due to the Big Ten Network having a game after this one for a nightcap. Anyways, I drive my kids back to my house and prepare to leave for the game. My wife had an appointment in Silver Spring and was on her way back home, which is why I had to pickup the gremlins. I left my house around 4:30 and I arrived at the XFinity Center at around 5:35 or so.

 This was a great matchup for both teams. Nebraska has a veteran team with a lot of talent. It is probably Coach Tim Miles’ best team he has had there. He has senior forward and Georgetown transfer Isaac Copeland, senior point guard Glynn Watson Jr., junior forward Isaiah Roby and leading scorer and senior guard James Palmer Jr.

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 For Maryland they have the fifth youngest team in the country. Turgeon made this very clear in the post game press conference. They are led by junior point guard Anthony Cowan, sophomore center Bruno Fernando and a cast of other underclassmen. One of those underclassmen played a key role in the last few minutes of the game.

The game was back and forth throughout. It had the feel of a game that would go down to the wire. Nebraska had stretched their lead out a couple of times but failed to put Maryland away. Their foul shooting was an issue in the second half. They outshot Maryland 23 attempts to 14. This was a road game for them. It’s pretty rare for a road team to have more attempts than a home team at any level. Ask Turgeon about that. Oh and I forgot to mention…. Palmer shot 13 on his own, almost eclipsing Maryland’s total as a team. With all this said…. Palmer is a monster at drawing fouls. He has long arms and is kind of awkward when he drives. He has the strength to take contact and finish through it. He did most of his damage at the beginning of each half it seemed. He is working his way into NBA draft discussion I’m sure. Watson had a solid game as well. He spread the ball around, provided leadership and is just a pest on defense. Roby struggled to get going. He was completely overmatched against Fernando. Fernando would just bully him in the post. Roby is a versatile player on offense. He is an explosive athlete and is still expanding his range. If he can continue to extend his range and get stronger he will be a very interesting prospect. He already has a lot of attention on him.

Fernando was an absolute monster in the game. It was like if your 35 year old uncle was playing against you as a 10 year old. Like if your uncle was like 6’4 210 and you were like 5’5 140. There was no chance. No matchup for him in the paint. With that said, Bruno struggled at times. Nebraska dug down hard in the paint with extra defenders and forced him to pass out. Every time he put the ball on the floor a defender was swiping at it. Fernando didn’t have great hands today. Was he getting fouled, maybe, but you can’t have 6 turnovers. So when he wasn’t turning it over, he was scoring in very close range or rebounding everything. He finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds. Pretty impressive stat line overall.

The underclassmen I teased earlier was Jalen Smith. Smith had a bad first half. He lacked intensity and physicality. He seemed slow to react to everything. The second half was different. Smith had more intensity and more assertiveness. In the press conference after Coach Turgeon said he was getting on him and so were the assistant coaches. Not only them but Fernando as well. Like I said earlier Fernando is a monster. When Smith made a few plays in the second half Fernando would get in his face and shove him in his chest to pump him up. Now, Smith is a quiet guy. He doesn’t show much emotion. Bruno is the opposite. Smith is about 215 pounds and Bruno is probably 250. Bruno looked like he was going to snap “Stix” in half. Stix is what Smith goes by due to his thin physique. So hopefully Bruno will be a bit more gentile next time, but hey it worked. Stix scored the last seven points for Maryland, including a game winning floater with 3 seconds left.

 

SIDE NOTE : Food for the game was ok. Three chicken tenders, a mini cheeseburger slider and some tortilla chips. My pastor Tim sat next to me for some of the game. He is a Maryland season ticket holder. We chatted about Maryland lulls in offense and how Palmer was doing some work on the terps. Great game to see, but he seemed to be feeling like it would be a lack of execution in the end that would doom the terps. This has been the case since Melo Trimble left. Melo made clutch shot after clutch shot. No one has done that since. Well someone did tonight, so have a little faith Pastor!

The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 3

The Life of a Freelance Basketball Scout – Game 3

 

November 23 – Marshall @ Maryland

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This was my first trip to College Park this season. The traffic was fun as usual. Only took me an extra 15 minutes or so than if there was no traffic. It was pretty cold too, like low thirties range. I’m just glad I had a solid parking pass so I didn’t have to walk as far. That’s not always the case, since the priority normally goes to the “Big Dogs”. Maryland always takes good care of the media and I have always been treated well also. Not to mention they have solid catered food every time. This time was Chick-fil-A….. always a crowd pleaser.

I also was blessed with a seat with the NBA scouts so that was cool. One ex-NBA player was in attendance. He showed up a few minutes into the game. It was none other than local Eleanor Roosevelt high school product Delonte West. He has not been in the news in the past couple of years, after the rumors of him having some issues and possibly being homeless. I did not speak to Delonte. And to the chagrin of my pastor and friend Tim that was there in attendance, I never asked if Gary Williams recruited him to go to Maryland. If I see him again maybe I will spark a conversation, but this time I didn’t want to bother him! I’m not sure exactly why he was there but there is a player on Marshall (Jarrod West Jr.) with the same last name. Either way Delonte was just enjoying a game of basketball very quietly.

So the game was extremely one sided. It was supposed to be close. Maryland won 104-67. They led by over 40 at a point. Marshall loves to get up and down the court. They are led by Jon Elmore and C.J. Burks. Coming into the game they averaged 44 points a game combined. Well this night they had 16 total. Elmore struggled with his shot and really had an issue with Maryland’s length. He made many passes while in the air leaving his feet. Some were on target but several were tipped leading to loose balls or turnovers. Elmore has a great feel for pick and roll play and is a solid shooter off the dribble and from 3. Tonight was just not his night. C.J. Burks showcased an ability to score off the drive. He finished a few tough layups off the glass using his length to convert. Burks has a quick first step and also is a solid a shooter from 3. Both of these guys are candidates for the Portsmouth Invitational. Almost certainly not drafted. They could have very successful careers overseas or get shots in the NBA G-League.

 Side note Jannson Williams could be a guy to keep an eye on. He came into the game averaging like 5 points. He finished with 21 and eventually fouled out. The 6’9 forward showed an ability to hit the 3 off the catch and shoot as well as finish some alley-oops at the rim.

 Maryland thrived in this high octane game. Maybe we will see this more often. It would be exciting for the fan base and would also showcase the squads athleticism. Maryland was hitting from 3 point range as well. If they can shoot anywhere near as well as they did they will be a factor in the Big 10. Eric Ayala was impressive and showed confidence in his shot. Something he was struggling with earlier in the season. Anthony Cowan was his normal spark plug self. He had countless wide open lanes to the baskets for lay ups. It was like Marshall just parted the Red Sea for him. Bruno Fernando showcased his best pro skill all night. He had 16 rebounds. He boxes out well when focused and he can elevate better than any player on the floor for rebounds.

 This game was supposed to be like a 6 or 7 point game. Marshall is a very good team and on this night of Chick-fil-A and a Delonte West sighting, they were no match for Maryland.

 Maryland will have a much different style game on its hands when Virginia come to town Wednesday night. We all know Virginia is a grind it out, slow pace, methodical type of team. They are the polar opposite of Marshall. It will be very interesting to see how Maryland responds.

One last thing…… Turgeon did not seem thrilled that the Terps drew Virginia in the ACC – Big 10 challenge….. but, hey at least it’s at home.

 

Who Is Mark Turgeon?

Who Is Mark Turgeon?

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The question that many Maryland fans are beginning to ask themselves is not Who is this Maryland team? or Who is Melo Trimble? They understand this is a team that starts three freshmen and is extremely perimeter oriented. The question that begs answers and is weighing on Terp fans minds is, Who is Mark Turgeon?

 

Turgeon has turned this program around in the last three years. He inherited lacking talent when Gary Williams left and had to begin the process of rebuilding. In his first few years however, he swung and missed on the players he brought in. Nick Faust, Shaquille Cleare, Seth Allen, Charles Mitchell, and Roddy Peters all ended up transferring and having success in some way elsewhere. Peters success was very limited because he has since been dismissed from South Florida and transferred again to Nicholls State. So after the first few seasons, Turgeon was in desperate need of a turn around. Since the Terps have entered Big Ten play in 2014-2015, they have finished top three in conference play and made it to the semifinals in back-to-back seasons. This may have been what saved Mark Turgeon’s job. In his first three years at Maryland, he was just 59-43 with zero NCAA tournament appearances and just a trip to the NIT semifinals under his belt.

 

The success since joining Big Ten play has reinvigorated the fans and even brought back in the casual fan that slowly departed after the lack of success after the national title year in 2002. The problem that has begun to arise is that fans are starting to believe Turgeon is limited as a coach and is just a good recruiter. Turgeon has done many positive things in recent seasons. He has brought in talented transfers and recruits, and he has made Maryland relevant once again. These are all great things, but what seems to be lacking is the development of individual players’ skills, as well as the lack of consistent play on offense specifically. The players that came in have slowly developed or not at all, including all of the transfers mentioned above, plus Michal Cekovsky, Damonte Dodd, Jared Nickens, and some would even argue Melo Trimble.

 

Let’s look at the coach that Turgeon is, not who he is not. Turgeon is a player’s coach. He gives his players a lot more freedom than other coaches do. When a coach does this it can help generate better camaraderie between teammates, but it can also backfire. In the first few years of his career at Maryland, it backfired. Some would even argue that it backfired last year, as the team seemed more focused on their payday than playing as a cohesive unit. Overall, since Maryland has entered the Big Ten, they have unarguably been successful as a team. Yes, everyone expected more last year with the immense talent on the team, but they also ran into a very good and balanced Kansas squad. This was the first year Maryland made the sweet sixteen since 2003, when Steve Blake led the squad. Turgeon has led Maryland to back-to-back NCAA tournaments and will do so again this year. Even toward the end of Gary’s admired reign, the team was very inconsistent in making the NCAA tournament. Nevertheless, Turgeon has provided some stability to that now, especially since he has brought in the right players in recent years.

 

Unfortunately for Turgeon, the future for this Maryland team appears to be vulnerable. Turgeon has had limited success in post-season play. In eighteen seasons as a head coach, Turgeon has made the NCAA tournament only seven times. In those seven seasons, he has led his teams to just two sweet sixteen’s- including one sweet sixteen game where he lead Wichita State by making a Cinderella run back in 2006. Turgeon’s teams seem to peak early in the season. This has also been shown while he has been at Maryland. His teams have won four straight early season tournaments, the Paradise Jam in 2013, the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in 2014, the Cancun Challenge in 2015, and the Barclays Center Classic this season. This all points back to the freedom he gives his players, especially on offense. Teams in early season play are still a work in progress; many teams struggle. Turgeon’s teams thrive in those situations. His players find ways to make plays and their freedom of play in the offense ends up working out for the better. You can get away with this in early season play. Once teams start improving and getting better is when other teams get exposed. This exposure has been happening to the Terps in recent seasons. They have become stagnant on offense later in the year and rely very heavily on perimeter-oriented play. Several examples of this are Terrell Stoglin, Seth Allen, Dez Wells and Melo Trimble. How many times since Turgeon has been coach do you see possessions in under ten seconds where the play ends with a pick and roll at the top of the three-point line where a guard forces a three or a drive to the basket? Maryland’s offense has been the same since Turgeon has been there; he just has better offensive weapons than when he started. One area where he has improved is drawing up plays after timeouts and in bound plays under the basket. In the past couple of seasons, Maryland’s execution has been leaps and bounds better than previous years.

 

All of this is not to deem Turgeon a failure. He has shown improvement over the years and also an ability to recruit at a level that his predecessor could not. He gets the most out of his players and gets them to buy in. Turgeon is still evolving as a coach, and he is only 52 years old and appears to have a lot left in the tank. For right now what you see is what you get in Coach Turgeon. You get a coach that has been extremely competitive since joining a new conference. You get a coach that loves being at Maryland. You get a coach that will bring in some of the best talent Maryland has had in the past 25 years. Yes, he is still a work in progress as far as X’s and O’s; but he will improve, as all good coaches do.

 

Since losing five of their last seven games, supporters have turned into haters at a rapid rate. Once the grumbling and complaining is silenced, Terp fans need to realize he just took a team that lost four pro’s last year and replaced them with three starting freshman and led them to the best start in Maryland’s storied history at 20-2.

 

So who is Mark Turgeon? That is up to him to decide.

Melo Guides The Terps Past Rutgers 67-55

Melo Guides The Terps Past Rutgers 67-55

 

 

College Park, MD – Melo Trimble led Maryland past Rutgers 67-55. Melo had been battling a sickness the previous few days before this contest. Quite honestly, it was hard to tell. Melo looked like his normal and steady self. He made some timely shots and was the veteran presence the Terps (18-2, 6-1) needed to pull away in the second half. Rutgers (12-9, 1-7) showed great toughness. They guarded hard all night and forced the Terps into many ugly turnovers, 18 to be exact. Rutgers had a tough time getting into any offensive flow. They really struggled from the foul line going just 10-24. If Rutgers could have made just even a handful more free throws, this game could have gotten interesting. Coach Steve Pikiell has his team doing all the right things to succeed in time. Once more talent comes through, Rutgers should compete in the middle of the pack of the Big Ten.

 

Melo Trimble proved that no matter the circumstances he is a leader on the court for Maryland. Coach Mark Turgeon said he had no idea how Trimble would feel, because the day before he looked terrible. Sickness does not always stop a player from playing at a high level. Some players rise through it and play at a high level, that is exactly what Melo did. Melo finished with a game high of 17 points, 3 three-pointers, six rebounds, four assists and five turnovers. The other main contributor for the Terps was Kevin Huerter. The freshman guard continues to show that he has a tremendous feel for the game. He see’s the passing lanes like few players do. Many times he passes the ball to open teammates and they have no clue it’s coming because they don’t even realize they are open. Huerter impacts the game for the Terps in so many ways. He defends at a high level, and helped limit Corey Sanders to 15 points, on 5-19 shooting. Huerter is a very solid rebounder as well. Despite not being the biggest or most physical presence (6’7 190) he led the team in rebounds with eight. Huerter has such a versatile skill set and is destined to be a solid contributor for the Terps for many years to come, as long as he stays in college. Huerter finished with eleven points, eight rebounds and six assists.

 

Another contributor for the Terps was Damonte Dodd. Dodd had eight points, five rebounds and three blocks.

 

The guard play for Rutgers is what fuels them. They rely way too much on sophomore guard Corey Sanders (6’2 181) and junior guard Nigel Johnson (6’1 186). Sanders is a very explosive scoring guard. He struggles with his outside shot and shooting jumpers in general. He is much more comfortable attacking off the dribble or off of the pick and roll. He turns the corner hard in pick and roll, and has great leaping ability allowing him to rise over defenders or perform acrobatic lay-ins. Sanders struggled shooting in this game, but a lot of that may be due to the fact that his team has only one other scoring option, Nigel Johnson. Sanders was shadowed by Huerter in the second half and that is when he became really limited on offense. Sanders finished with 15 points, three rebounds and three assists.

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Sanders back-court mate Nigel Johnson had a decent impact on offense as well as defense. He compliments Sanders well and if they had more teammates that could run and gun that may suit their team better. Johnson is not the best shooter. Like Sanders he thrives when he gets into the lane. He has a crafty floater and understands when to get all the way to the rim. Johnson is a solid on ball defender. He has great quickness and his active hands bother players with a suspect handle. Johnson posted 14 points, two three-pointers, four rebounds and two steals on the night.

 

Maryland continues to surprise many and probably even themselves with their hot start. This matched their best start ever, back when Steve Francis was their star guard in 1998-1999. Maryland at 18-2 and 6-1 in the Big 10, has officially put the conference and the rest of the country on notice.

 

Rutgers continues to struggle in conference play. They lack the skill players and veteran leadership needed to compete in a high-major conference like the Big 10. The effort and commitment to defense is definitely there though.

 

Up next for Rutgers is a home game vs Wisconsin on Saturday.

Up next for Maryland is @ Minnesota on Saturday.