They were absolutely horrible in that 78-68 loss to Georgia Tech in Atlanta last night. And if they don’t straighten out some major issues immediately, the rest of the season could go completely off the rails.
Guard play, shot selection, working the ball inside – Maryland was awful in each category. Junior point guard Pe'Shon Howard is struggling so much with his passing and his shot that he’s a liability when he’s in there.
Freshman guard Seth Allen, freshman swingman Jake Layman and sophomore swingman Dez Wells took some awful shots. (The Terps were 4-for-19 on 3-pointers.) And the Terps seem incapable of getting the ball inside to their sophomore big man, Alex Len (13 points.)
When they do get him the ball, he’s too far away from the basket to be effective. On the rare occasions when he gets the ball down low, he often waits too long to make a move, drawing a double-team. And then he has problems kicking the ball back out, which means the offense grinds to a halt and dies a horrible death right there.
The defense was bad against Tech, too, making everything look worse. When you let a team like the Yellow Jackets shoot 51 percent on a ton of easy shots inside, you’re going to lose. Badly.
But most of Maryland’s problems on the road, where they’re 2-6 in the ACC, have come on offense. There was no inside-out game again last night. Their transition game looked chaotic. And with each bad shot hoisted up, Maryland looked more and more frustrated as the night wore on.
Terps coach Mark Turgeon has been brutally candid about his team’s shortcomings all season long. But now, instead of talking about them, he better find a way to fix them. Because it looks like the Terps are regressing on offense and starting to tune him out.
With three regular-season games remaining – including Saturday’s noon contest at Wake Forest – and the ACC tournament starting March 14, this is a team in need of a major confidence booster.
The window to make the NCAA tournament is just about closed – Maryland probably has to win the ACC tournament to go to the Big Dance. But a season that began with so much promise could end with an absolute thud if the Terps don’t play better than they did last night.
Time is definitely running out.