It's Basketball Season!

It's hard to fathom, but basketball season is upon us.  It's the most wonderful time of the year. 

Maryland tips off the season against UConn in Brooklyn this Friday.  I think the game is a toss up.  Surely, Maryland is going to be better than last year's team.  Yes the Terps have lost a lottery pick but I think the Terps can improve without the presence of Alex Len.

The front line will be bolstered by Shaq Cleare and Chuck Mitchell gaining a year of invaluable experience and off season training.  Damonte (Snoop Doddy) Dodd and Evan Smotrycz will supply much needed shot blocking (Dodd) and scoring (Smotrycz). 

The loss of Seth Allen for 6-10 weeks hurts the back court.  He was our starting PG.  I think Dez Wells is up to the task with a few caveats.  Wells wants (needs?) to showcase his PG skills if he is to make the leap to the next level.  He's not a good enough shooter to play the Two at the next level so he needs to make a name as a distributor.  That will provide Dez with all the motivation he needs to make this experiment a successful one.  This hope is belied by the fact that Wells demonstrated poor decision making at many points last season.  Will that change now that he is running the whole show?  I think the answer is yes because Wells knows his teammates and the offense much better now than he did last year. 

Regardless of who runs point for Maryland, the entire season depends on two things:

1.  Shot Selection
2.  Turnovers

Poor shot selection was the biggest reason why the Terps failed at times last year.  Nick Faust and Wells were two of the biggest offenders but the whole team suffered from the affliction. I optimistically attribute this to so many freshman and sophomores playing big minutes.  Now, the top returning players are all juniors and sophomores.  I expect most if not all (I wonder if Faust will ever get it) to make better decisions.  The key is to not force things (I'm looking at you Dez and Nick) and share the ball.

Turnovers are the scourge of every NCAA team and this week's exhibition against Catholic (15 TOs) did not exactly engender confidence that the Terps will be much better this year. Wells is strong with the ball and that should help.  Another factor that should make things better is that the Terps have three 3PT sharpshooters (Jake Layman, Evan Smotrycz, and Seth Allen) who should free things up for the big guys down low to operate in the low post.  With Wells and Faust slashing to the hoop, you've got all the makings of a team that beat you in multiple ways.

Turnovers and Shot Selection are all about good decision making.  Have our guys learned how to do that? 

We'll find out on Friday how far along these Terps are in the quest to reclaim the national prominence we once held.   Neither outcome would surprise me.


Author: Jeremy | 11/6/2013 2:20:01 PM | Tags: season preview, basketball |

2010 Terps Football Preview

We're Number #1!!        Image by Getty Images via @daylif In two days time, the Maryland Terrapins will have the opportunity to erase the disaster that was the 2009 season.  At 2-10, the Terps reached a new low.  The head coach, Ralph Friedgen, had his legacy questioned.  The coach-in-waiting, James Franklin, looked less like an offensive genius [...] Read More »

Author: Jeremy | 9/4/2010 7:42:11 AM | Tags: football, terrapins, season preview |

Season Preview Part 2 - Player Profiles

Image by Getty Images via Daylife As you all know, college basketball kicked off this week and our Terps are set to tip off in less than 48 hours time.  I will be in Vegas for the occasion.  Actually, I won't be in Vegas specifically for MD vs. Charleston Southern.  Let's just call it a coincidence.  Of course, this means that regardless of how m [...] Read More »

Author: Jeremy | 11/11/2009 8:31:10 PM | Tags: season preview, basketball, maryland |

2009-10 Maryland Terrapins Basketball Preview, Part I

Image via Wikipedia I started this blog the year I graduated from Maryland's Smith School of Business in 2004.  I believe my "season preview" post for that 04-05 season predicted an Elite 8 appearance as the Terps were poised to build off their improbable run in the 2004 ACC Tournament.  John Gilchrist looked like he was headed for the NBA Lotter [...] Read More »

Author: Jeremy | 10/21/2009 9:50:14 PM | Tags: maryland, basketball, terrapins, season previews |

2008-09 Basketball Preview Part II

Before I make my feeble attempt to predict the Terps' record; I'd be remiss if I didn't make mention of something I neglected to mention in Part I of my preview. PC was right to point out in a comment made in that post that Maryland must cut down on turnovers.This is absolutely crucial. I didn't mention it; because it is almost too obvious to ment [...] Read More »

Author: Jeremy | 11/4/2008 11:46:13 AM | Tags: season previews |

2008-09 Basketball Preview Part I

The clearinghouse drama surrounding Jin Soo Kim notwithstanding, the Terps are getting ready to open the season in two week's time. I can't recall a season with so many questions for the Terps. Media expectations have not been lower since Joe Smith's freshman year in 1993.Maryland opened that 1993-94 season with a stunning win vs. Georgetown. Th [...] Read More »

Author: Jeremy | 11/1/2008 4:45:19 PM | Tags: season previews |

Basketball Season Preview, Part 2: The Good

(Editor's Note: For those of you who subscribe to an RSS feed through MyYahoo, please note that the updates are not being recognized by My Yahoo. For updates, I recommend that you subscribe to iGoogle or another RSS service.)In the first half of my season preview (the Ugly), I outlined some of the biggest questions our young Terps will have to an [...] Read More »

Author: Jeremy | 10/24/2007 3:48:52 PM | Tags: season previews |

Terps Picked To Finish Sixth In The ACC

Is there any poll with less credibility than the annual preseason poll by ACC beat writers? I think when Maryland won it all in 2002, the writers still picked the Terps to finish third in the conference that year. The bias toward Carolina (UNC and Duke in particular) is so obvious and has continued on for so long, that it is comical.The post seas [...] Read More »

Author: Jeremy | 10/23/2007 9:24:23 AM | Tags: season previews |

Terps Hoops Preview Part 1: The Ugly

Welcome to the fourth year of Turtle Soup's coverage of Maryland Basketball. It's good to have you all back for what should be a thrilling season.Next to March Madness, there is no time as exciting as Midnight Madness. So much hope, so much possibility! The 2007-08 edition of the Maryland Terrapins will be no different. Gary Williams will go in [...] Read More »

Author: Jeremy | 10/11/2007 10:45:30 PM | Tags: season previews |
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