Terps looking past FSU and onto Notre Dame
One word could sum up the mood at the Comcast Center as the Maryland Terrapins concluded practice Tuesday: frustration. Coach Mark Turgeon said the team came back from a winless two-game road trip with much to be unhappy with, but that the team will look forward to Wednesday's game against Notre Dame rather than back to two blowout losses at the hands of Pittsburgh and Florida State.
"We need everybody to play well," Turgeon said of his Terrapin squad. "We've played two really good defensive teams on the road. Our execution hasn't been good enough."
Returning home could be a boost for Maryland, a team that at times looks lost on the court. In its last home game, the Terps looked strong, blowing out Georgia Tech 77-61. In that game, Maryland moved the ball well and created good shots for teammates. That ball movement seemed to dry up on the road.
"We haven't been too good in certain phases of our offense," Turgeon said.
Maryland needs better play from Dez Wells and Jake Layman, and Turgeon said he expects to see it Wednesday night. The coach also wants an increased defensive effort against a good-shooting Notre Dame team. In its last two games Maryland has given up an average of 82 points, and they will need to limit the Irish well below that figure to get a win.
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Asked about comments during the television broadcast on Sunday night from former Duke star Jay Williams that suggested Maryland players are tight, Turgeon said that's not the case. Turgeon said he spoke with Williams following the game and that his players do not play tight, though they may have opened the FSU game "on egg shells."
The players understand that a rough road trip is just that; a two-game road trip. Junior Evan Smotrycz explained that the Terps are still 2-2 in ACC play, and a win Wednesday against Notre Dame puts them in good position in the conference. His coach echoed those sentiments.
"We got to get guys playing better, that's the whole key," Turgeon said. "We're just trying to get mentally ready for tomorrow night."