Maryland opened up their regular season tonight, defeating Stony Brook 76-61 at Nassau Coliseum.
— Maryland On BTN (@MarylandOnBTN) November 11, 2017
Mark Turgeon’s team started slow, holding a 14-7 lead halfway through the first half, but they went on a 27-14 run to the frame. The run was spurned by Freshmen Darryl Morsell and Bruno Fernando entering the game. Morsell provided a solid replacement for Cowan, although he worked as a scorer which forced Huerter into the facilitator role that’s not his specialty. Fernando was fantastic in his minutes, showing his ability to provide the post presence Maryland has lacked in recent years. He scored 10 points in 13 minutes off the bench and had the highest usage% on the team by far at 41%. This is not to take anything away from Cekovsky who had 10 points and 3 rebounds in his own right, but Fernando has earned the starts when he fully recovers from his ankle sprain.
The offense picked up where it left off in the second half, scoring 39 and never letting the Seawolves get within single-digit points. The large lead allowed Turgeon to empty his bench and give senior guard Jared Nickens some time at point guard, which could become important should any of the starters get injured.
The sophomore trio easily stood out the most in this game, scoring 39 of Maryland’s 76 points (51%) and each contributing something different. Cowan paced the offense, and even though he missed all three of his shots from beyond the arc, he was much better in his penetration game as shown by his 8 free throw attempts and 15 points. Huerter had 13 points and led the team with 4 assists in his return to his home state of New York. Even though he mainly fills the shooting guard role, his times as a facilitator have been very productive. these mainly came off the dribble drive, a move he needs to try more given the success he’s had in a small size. Justin Jackson showed why NBA scouts peg him as a first round pick in the draft. with 11 points and 14 assists, he poured in his first of (likely) many double-doubles this season. Should the trio perform at this level all year, Maryland will be in good shape.
The Terps will open their home schedule at the Xfinity Center this Sunday 11/12 against University of Maryland Eastern Shore at 6pm on Big Ten Network.