That is how the men’s basketball team looked against Duke this afternoon. The soon-to-be #1 Blue Devils embarrassed Maryland today at Cameron Indoor Stadium. This loss was so bad, so one-sided, that I’m having trouble finding other words to describe it. According to the Washington Post, “It was Maryland’s worst defeat since a 39-point loss to Wake Forest in 1963.”
There are some things about this game that could have been different and may have made the outcome closer. Maryland could not keep Duke off the offensive boards, and they were getting killed with second and third chances all day long. The Terps also seemingly forgot how to split a trap, and possession after possession stalled near mid-court, resulting in 17 turnovers. When we did get a shot off it was generally off-balanced or hurried, resulting in a 28% shooting night. Those were the factors under Maryland’s control. It’s the factors that were not under their control that were much, much more scary to me.
This was the biggest game of the season, and the team was clearly not mentally prepared for some fairly basic defensive looks from Duke. One cannot attribute the disparity in mental alertness to home court advantage or fatigue. Duke seemed to be playing a different game of “organized basketball”, as opposed to Maryland who seemed to be reacting and retreating. Gary Williams could not control getting out-coached by Mike Krzyzewski. It may not be that he was simply out-coached today, but he has been for a few years.
Another factor that was beyond Maryland’s control was the disparity of talent on the floor. There is nobody on the Terps that is qualified to carry Gerald Henderson’s jock strap. 7’1″ Brian Zoubek made the Terps look like a bunch of toddlers with a grown man holding a ball over their heads while he was in the paint. Maryland has no answer for these guys at all, and that situation won’t change for the rematch in College Park.
Everyone on Maryland played scared except Milbourne and Vasquez. Once again, Vasquez has to eat his words after a 2-10 shooting night. Gary Williams didn’t even use the blow out to give extended minutes to the bench. Kim played 5min, while Goins and Pearman played 3min each.
There are no positives to take away from this game. NIT here we come.