Terps Need To Find Outside Shooting

Sports and Bets — January 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm by

 

 

By Biggs…

The Maryland Terrapins finished up their out of conference schedule with a 12-1 record before heading into ACC play. The only blemish on that record was a three point loss to defending National Champion Kentucky to open the season. So Terps fans had reason for optimism heading into their ACC schedule, right?

After a 94-71 victory over Virginia Tech to kick off ACC play, the Maryland offense has sputtered. Overall, the Terrapins are 2-3 in the ACC and have managed to score more than 60 points only once outside of their game with Virginia Tech. Alex Len, who looked like a lock to be a lottery pick in the next NBA Draft,  has struggled to get to the basket. Len averaged 13.3 PPG prior to ACC play, and while he has managed to average slightly more (13.4 PPG) in the ACC, he is also playing about five more minutes per game.

Alex Len’s struggles in ACC play can be attributed to one thing: the lack of outside shooting. Three point shooting has been a weakness for the Terps over the past few years, but the addition of Logan Aronhalt and Jake Layman to the roster were supposed to help Maryland improve in that area. Aronhalt shot 55.8% from beyond the three point line in out of conference play, but only 26.7 % in the ACC. Jake Layman has actually improved from 17.2% to 41.2% in ACC games, but a majority of his three pointers came in the blowout win over Virginia Tech.

Freshman Seth Allen got off to a good start in the ACC averaging 17 points in his first two games against Virginia Tech and Florida State, but is averaging only 5.7 points in his last three games. Pe’Shon Howard, the Terps starting point guard at the beginning of the season, has looked atrocious when shooting the ball. While Howard began the season shooting 36.3% from beyond the arc, in ACC play he is shooting 1-13 from three point range. Howard is a point guard, not a shooter. Opposing defenses are going to continue to give him a wide open look until he can consistently put the ball in the basket.

These struggles beyond the three point line have allowed opposing defenses to double team Alex Len down low. Len and the Terps offense have had difficulty breaking these double teams, making it tougher for Len to get to the basket.

The Terps need to find their way on offense if they want to continue their push towards an NCAA berth. Their out of conference schedule did not exactly help boost their RPI ranking (currently at 66 as of this writing).  However, they will have plenty of opportunities to improve that during conference play with two games against top ranked Duke, and one game each against NC State, Miami, and North Carolina. If Maryland is to have a chance against these teams they need to find a way to spread the defense out and make some outside buckets, that will allow Alex Len to do what he does best on the inside.

One Comment

  1. Against BC would be a great time to start…

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