Terps finish off ACU with 29-0 run
COLLEGE PARK--Charles Mitchell met with the media after his team’s 67-44 win over Abilene Christian on Wednesday night, but he wasn’t dressed in team-issued sweats like most players tend to do.
He went another route, a more professional look, simple but sharp, a black peat coat and a white and blue patterned button-up shirt. It was appropriate considering the occasion, having just dropped 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds.
He was peppered with questions, smiling through it all, before getting up to leave with a team representative at its conclusion.
And there was that smile again as someone made a comment about his dapper attire. He looked back over his shoulder as he exited through the back door.
“You look good, you play good,” he said.
Mitchell’s double-double on Wednesday night was more than just what the box score indicates, though, because of Maryland’s struggles in the first half.
While the rest of the team failed to find its footing in the first 20 minutes, Mitchell simply worked. He scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds coming off the bench, keeping his team’s head above water in an otherwise dreadful first half.
All of that while coming off the bench.
“Charles didn’t practice the way I wanted him to practice this week or he probably would have started,” head coach Mark Turgeon said after the game. “If he can practice well between now and Sunday, we’ll see if that happens.”
“He doesn’t care [if he starts]. I know everybody else does, but he doesn’t. That’s why I like Charles.”
With Dez Wells starting the second half on the bench for disciplinary reasons, Mitchell took the court and continued to work. His new-found strength and conditioning were evident, not getting tired as he continued to labor in the paint.
“I feel like I’m in great shape,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t feel tired during the game at all. I just went in there and gave it my all and played hard.
“Just being effective on the low block. I know that’s something we’re going to lack with Alex [Len] not here. Just taking what the defense gave me.”
It took time, but Maryland hit its stride around the 14-minute mark of that second half. Mitchell’s effort in the paint radiated outward and the Terrapins closed the game on a dominating 29-0 run.
“I feel like games always start inside,” Mitchell said. “Once you get the low post going, open shots start to come. After me and Evan [Smotrycz] made a few quick buckets down low, you see Jake [Layman] get open shots and that really carried our team.”
Layman finished with a team-high 19 points, including 14 during that game-ending run.
With Shaquille Cleare struggling again offensively on Wednesday night, it appears Mitchell is in line to start on Sunday against Oregon State. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. in College Park.