In the final day February, college basketball fans are getting set for a month long celebration of division one basketball
This is the point of the season where fans try to cram in as much knowledge about at least 68 teams to put together the perfect bracket, which will never happen, at least not in my lifetime.
The reason it will never happen is because of teams like the Maryland Terrapins - that team that you cannot figure out and ruins your bracket in the first two rounds. They have the talent to reach the final four and even win it all – at least three potential NBA players on the roster – but they have moments where you are confused and not sure if they will make it to the sweet 16.
In February, the Terps went 4-3 and has lost three of their last four games. Everyone in Terps Nation has been worried by the inconsistency of star point guard, Melo Trimble. Trimble in the month of February has only shot over 40% once. In the losses to Wisconsin and Minnesota, Trimble went 4-25 from the field. This shooting slump couldn’t come at a worse time.
Trimble was named to the preseason Wooden Watch list but so far his 2015-16 campaign has not lived up to his freshman season, with his field goal percentage, three point percentage, points per game average all taking a decline. Many thought adding the experienced Rasheed Sulaimon would help Trimble become a better scorer but so far, it hasn’t translated. The two still work well in the backcourt but scoring for Trimble and the Terps has been a challenge at times.
Another one of the Terps’ issues is rebounding. The top rebounder on the Terps currently is Robert Carter with 6.8 a game, which isn’t spectacular for a team with three starters 6’9 or taller. Diamond Stone has been a major disappointing on the glass. The 6’11 freshman has only posted double-digit rebounds 4 times this season and only averaging 5 boards a game – the same amount as 6’4 Buddy Heild of Oklahoma.
For the Terps they need to become a lot tougher on the glass. The team is not small, so it’s no reason why they should be getting outrebounded by 19 against Purdue.
Jake Layman, the third 6'9 starter, hasn't lived up to his expectations either. Layman is only averaging 10 points a game, which is fourth on the team and his lowest since his freshman year. Layman has been critized for not an aggressive scorer on the wing, which is what the Terps need from him. Scoring has been a serious issue for the Terps and not one that the Terps need to have going into March.
The Terps are still a solid contender, despite their struggles in February. They started the season going 17-3 in their first 20 games – a run that included a six and nine game win streak. For the sake of sanity, Terps Nation would like to see more consistency against top ranked opponents. The Terps has one more game against a ranked opponent, a road matchup against the 12th ranked Indiana Hoosiers. The Terps are 2-3 against ranked opponents, two losses coming from conference foes.
The BIG Ten tournament will really determine how this team will look going into the Big Dance. No matter how they finish, they will receive a bid, but for the sake of sanity, they will need a deep run, if not win the Big Ten title.
If the Terps are not able to shake the inconsisitcy bug, a lot of questions will need to be answered during the summer and I think the main one will be can Mark Turgeon get this program over the hump?