Former college coach Denny Kuiper breaks down Maryland’s 64-59 win over Boston College.
This was a gutsy performance by an undersized Boston College that fell a little short of getting the win. This was a win Maryland needed to half on their home court to get itself in the running for a spot in the top half of the league. It was not a pretty game, but both teams played hard and competed.
Both teams are very well coached, although they are different in the way their styles of play. The Eagles rely on shooting and ball handling to be successful, while the Terps use their athletic players and the big man in the post, (Alex Len) to get the job done.
Let's go to the three pointers to take a look at this game and the two teams.
Boston College's style of play
The Eagles, because of a lack of inside post man, used a spread out offense to drive and score or drive and kick out to a three-point shooter. They had 56 shots in this game and exactly half of those (28) were three-pointers. I don't think BC coach Steve Donahue has much choice but to play this way. The Eagles get some low post scoring from Ryan Anderson, but that is it.
When you play a line-up of four perimeter guys who can shoot the three ball, it negates the size of the opponent. Also a small lineup usually commits fewer turnovers. The Eagles only had nine turnovers last night, however some of those were late in the game and proved to be costly.
To be successful in college basketball at the ACC level you have to have an identity and a style of play that fits your team. Right now, the Eagles are making a step in establishing that.
What they need is experience and at least one or two big men who can give them some scoring and rebounding inside.
At times it looks like the Terps have no confidence and are unsure of who is supposed to take the shot. At other times they look like they are really clicking. Much of that is because their players are still unaccustomed to playing with each other. They, like the Eagles are a very young team and are trying to find out how everything fits on the offensive end.
Of course, Len has got to be the number one threat for the Terps. He had a solid effort tonight. But, who are the second, third, fourth options? I don't think the Terps have quite figured that out yet.
Dezmine Wells is a talent. Last night he was in foul trouble, but he was huge down the stretch at the point guard position. Not many think of Wells as a point guard, but he had several assists at critical times playing the point.
One of the reasons Maryland coach Mark Turgeon used Wells at the point is because of the ineffective play of Pe'Shon Howard. There is no way to get around it, Howard is struggling, shooting a woeful 14% in ACC play. As a coach, it is a tough call on much you stick with a player whom you know can play well, but who just isn't getting it done.
The other options for the Terps are Seth Allen, Nick Faust and Jake Layman. All three are young players who have shown flashes of scoring ability but lack consistency. Last night, Layman had a good offensive effort.
A) Give the Eagles credit for understanding they not shot blockers and must take charges on defense. They are well drilled in that area.
B) Maryland runs well and can score in the open court. I think the Terps need to do more of it.
C) The Terps need to cut when they feed Len in the low post instead of just spacing the floor. When you cut and get movement, it is harder for the opponent to double or bother Len in the low post.
D) BC has a great deal of difficulty rebounding, especially if the Eagles don't get the initial rebound. They are in trouble if they get into a volleyball contest inside.
Boston College has now lost 4 ACC games by a total of 14 points. For Donahue it is important to keep his young team confident and excited about the opportunities to get some ACC wins. If they keep their heads up, I think that will happen.