Terps in command of Monarchs with a 85-67 win

M-ayala-nd wins!

Eric Ayala and the Maryland Terrapins basketball team were able exercise their power over the Monarch’s of Old Dominion today at Xfinity Center by a score of 85-67. Ayala used the torch passed by Anthony Cowan to light the nets on fire today with 19 points, shooting a perfect 6-6 from the floor, including a perfect 4-4 beyond the arc. Not only that, but he was able to command an offense that relied primarily of ball movement and spacing to slowly build a 18 point victory over Old Dominion University.

The Monarchs were led by Kalu Ezikpe, who totaled 19 points and 13 rebounds in only 23 minutes. Teammate Malik Curry scored 17 points, including some long distance three’s in the first half. However, the Monarchs struggled to find any consistency shooting as the Terps defense seemed to consistently force bad shots which led ODU to 37.9% from the field and an pedestrian 6 for 33 from three point range.

Questions Answered for the Terps:

The Terps are in capable hands with Eric Ayala running the offense without Anthony Cowan. While we do expect him to miss a shot at some point this season, he looked comfortable shooting compared to last year.

The transfers Jarius Hamilton and Galin Smith were better than we thought. Hamilton did not throw away his shot while starting for the first time in a Terps uniform. He didn’t fill the stat lines, but he showed good footwork on the floor, scored 5 points and both he and Smith looked comfortable in their season debut.

Wiggins, Morsell, and Scott all scored double digits and did not show rust on either the offensive or defensive ends. If all three of these players can combine with Ayala’s hot shooting, the Terps could be a better than they were projected in the Big 10.

Unanswered questions:

How will this translate to the Big 10? The Terps looked better than anticipated today, but the competition will be better with 7 Big 10 teams currently ranked in the top 25.

Who’s the “Go to” guy? Ayala was the guy today, Morsell is the team captain and Senior leader, Wiggins is the top NBA prospect, and Donta Scott seems to find ways to fill the stat sheet every time he plays. For now, it will likely depend on matchup, but none of these players shy away from an open shot.

Can they shoot from beyond the arc? Last year, the Terps shot 33% from three point range and today they shot 43%. Are they really that good as a team?

We will try to find more answers in their next matchup against the Navy Midshipmen on Friday 3:00 at Xfinity Center.

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