Midnight Madness returns to Cole Field House
COLLEGE PARK--Maryland traded the warm Caribbean breeze for a much colder northeastern winter wind, tropical shirts for winter coats, and a small gym for the much larger Comcast Center in coming back with a championship from the Paradise Jam tournament in the Virgin Islands.
Other than that, much was the same and the same strong play we saw in the Virgin Islands carried over in a 89-62 win over Morgan State on Friday night in College Park.
Sophomore forward Jake Layman led the offensive charge with 11 points in the first half and a career-high 27 points on the night, as the team shot an impressive 62 percent from the field.
His previous career high was 20 points, which he scored in a win over Virginia Tech on Jan. 5, 2013.
It was the first time this season that Maryland appeared to be in control almost from the opening tip against an opponent that they should beat soundly. Read more headlines below.
Maryland 89, Morgan State 62
LAYMAN NOTCHES CAREER HIGHS
Layman was at the center of Maryland’s offense on Friday night and for good reason.
He is finding a consistent groove and with the way he’s playing, it won’t be a surprise if he ends the season as the team’s leading scorer. They key for Layman is versatility. Turgeon trusts him to bring the ball up the floor off of a defensive rebound.
He also knows when to fall back and trail on the break. In the half court, he can run off screens or use the dribble to get to the rim. There was already some pro-level buzz building around Layman and performances like the once he had Friday night should only add to that.
He scored 27 points on the night and hit seven three-pointers. Both are career highs.
TWO-HEADED MONSTER SPURS TRANSITION GAME
Part of the reason why Maryland tends to be so effective in transition is not because of the wealth of athletes they have--though that helps--but more so because there are two legitimate shooters that defense have to worry about.
Those two shooters are Evan Smotrycz and Jake Layman, both of whom showed their value on Friday night. The two had identical stat lines at halftime against Morgan State (11 points on 4-of-6 shooting) and helped to spur one of the team’s strong first halves so far this year.
The production continued in the second half, beginning with a Layman dunk on the break to begin the final 20 minutes.
Layman finished with 27 points. Smotrycz added 19.
NICK FAUST FLAUNTING EFFICIENCY AGAIN
Turgeon has said throughout the season that Nick Faust hitting shots can be either a good thing or a bad thing, mostly because overconfidence on Faust’s part can lead to poor shots and run-outs for the opposition.
Faust played under control, much like he did against Marist in the Paradise Jam tournament, pacing himself and helping to work the ball around in the first half against Morgan State.
Perhaps more impressively, though, was Faust’s defense. He held Morgan State’s leading scorer Justin Black to just two points on 1-of-7 shooting in the first half.
Black finished with 13 points on 4-of-14 shooting on the night.
Fuast finished with eight points on 4-of-7 shooting and added five assists.
DAMONTE DODD SCORES FIRST CAREER BASKET
Against Morgan State seven-footer Ian Chiles, Turgeon gave Dodd some burn in the first half as a more athletic option in the post.
Dodd scored the first basket of his college career in the first half and finished with those two points, plus one rebound.
CLARK OFFICIALLY DEBUTS, DIXON BEHIND BENCH
Maryland’s reshuffled coaching staff was officially unveiled in game action on Friday, with former director of basketball operations Dustin Clark taking over the reins as Maryland’s third assistant coach. He replaced Dalonte Hill, who resigned this week.
Maryland special assistant Juan Dixon made his debut behind the team’s bench. The former star point guard was introduced as the newest member of the staff on Wednesday.