Maryland Terrapins

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 25:  Shizz Alston Jr. #3 and Mark Williams #10 celebrate with Obi Enechionyia #0 of the Temple Owls after he was named All-Tournament Most Valuable Player during the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Barclays Center on November 25, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Baylor and Obi Enechionyia of Temple offer stand out performances

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PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Obi Enechionyia, Temple

Enechionyia led Temple to a pair of massive wins over ranked teams this week, as the Owls left New York with the Preseason NIT title. Against No. 25 Florida State in the semifinals, Enechionyia finished with 16 points, eight boards and six blocks and followed that up with 22 points, 12 boards and five blocks in a win over No. 19 West Virginia.

What made those performances even more impressive and important was the fact that the Owls had entered the tournament with two ugly losses already on their résumé. It’s never too early to start thinking about what needs to get done to win an at-large bid, and with the American looking like it won’t be stockpiled with quality wins and a loss to New Hampshire already hanging over their head, this was something Temple desperately needed.

They were good, too

  • Sindarius Thornwell, South Carolina: The Gamecocks sure were impressive this week, beating No. 25 Michigan and No. 18 Syracuse. Thornwell was the guy that led the way, averaging 18.5 points, 8.0 boards and 4.0 assists.
  • Johnathan Motley, Baylor: Motley was the best player on the floor for the Bears in their run to the Battle 4 Atlantis title. His best performance came against No. 24 Michigan State, when he had 26 points and 12 boards.
  • Joel Berry II, North Carolina: Berry outplayed Jawun Evans in a blowout win over Oklahoma State then put 22 points, three assists and three boards up on No. 16 Wisconsin.
  • Bryson Scott, Fort Wayne: Scott, native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, that started his career at Purdue, had 18 points, 12 boards, three assists and three steals as the Mastadons beat Indiana in Fort Wayne. That’s a good day.
  • Matt Farrell, Notre Dame: Farrell averaged 19.0 points and 6.0 assists as the Irish dispatched Northwestern and Colorado en route to the Legends Classic title.
PROVIDENCE, RI - MARCH 17:  Johnathan Motley #5 of the Baylor Bears looks on in the second half against the Yale Bulldogs during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Dunkin' Donuts Center on March 17, 2016 in Providence, Rhode Island.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Johnathan Motley (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

TEAM OF THE WEEK: Baylor Bears

The Bears entered the season as a team that no one was paying attention to and have since gone on to be arguably the most impressive team in the sport to date. After their performance winning the Battle 4 Atlantis, if the NCAA tournament were to start today, Baylor would be the No. 1 overall seed. That’s mostly because they’ve played a lot of good teams already and other teams haven’t yet, but to date, this is who Baylor has beaten: No. 13 Oregon, VCU, No. 24 Michigan State and No. 10 Louisville, the latter of which came after the Cardinals built a 22-point lead in the first half.

And here’s the best part: Scott Drew is doing all of this with a team full of over-achievers. Remember all that talk about how Drew couldn’t coach and all he could do was recruit? Well, this team is mostly made up of three-star prospects with a few four-star guys sprinkled in.

They were good, too

  • Gonzaga: The Zags won the Advocare Invitational and picked up wins over No. 21 Iowa State and Miami to make it happen.
  • Fort Wayne: How about the Mastadons, who knocked off No. 3 Indiana in Fort Wayne!
  • Butler: The Bulldogs landed an upset of their own this week, as they picked off No. 8 Arizona to win a tournament in Las Vegas.
  • UCLA: The Bruins finally faced a test and passed with flying colors, taking home the Wooden Legacy title.
  • Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish went 3-0 this week, which included the Legends Classic title.

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FIVE HOT #TAEKS FROM THE WEEK

1. North Carolina deserves to be mentioned with the best teams in the country: The Tar Heels improved to 7-0 on the season with four wins in Hawai’i this week, including a 15-point win over No. 16 Wisconsin in the Maui Invitational title game. Much was made of the departure of Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson this offseason, and while the Tar Heels found themselves in the national title game less than eight months ago, it’s not a stretch to say that this team has played as well as – if not better – than last year’s team did.

Joel Berry II has looked like North Carolina’s next great point guard. Justin Jackson is playing well on the wing while Isaiah Hicks, Kennedy Meeks and Tony Bradley have combined to average 39.0 points and 22.4 boards between them. The Tar Heels are hitting 39.2 percent from three. They’ve hit for 100 points twice, cracked 90 in three other games and have, just once, scored less than 83 points. That came in the Maui title game against the notoriously-slow Badgers.

“UNC is just too big and too fast,” said a coach who has scouted the Tar Heels. “They just kill you on the break and score in bunches.”

2. Melo Trimble is college basketball’s best closer: When Melo was a freshman, he developed a reputation for being a guy that always, always, always made the big shot or the big play in the critical moment. That’s why Maryland, who was not all that talented that year, was able to finish with a better seed in the NCAA tournament than the last year’s team, which was a preseason favorite to win the title.

It looks like this year is going to be a repeat of his freshman season. The Terps moved to 7-0 on the season with a 69-68 win over Kansas State on Saturday night. Five of those seven wins have come by single digits, and Trimble has made critical plays down the stretch in all five. On Saturday, he scored eight of Maryland’s last ten points, including two layups in the last 20 seconds to erase a three-point deficit. Against Richmond, he had nine points in the last 1:30 and overtime. Against Georgetown, he had 11 points in the last 3:31, including four points in the final 11 seconds. And against Towson, he had 12 points and two assists in the final ten minutes, as Maryland erased 13-point deficit.

In the wins over Towson, Georgetown and Kansas State, Trimble scored the winning points in the final minute.

Three game-winners in three weeks is pretty good.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 26:  Melo Trimble #2 of the Maryland Terrapins celebrates after hitting the game winning shot as they defeated the Kansas State Wildcats 69-68 during the championship game of the Barclays Center Classic at Barclays Center on November 26, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Melo Trimble (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

3. Is this Virginia’s best defensive team?: We’ve long known that Tony Bennett’s teams are great on the defensive end of the floor, but has he ever had a team that has been defending this well? Through six games, they’ve yet to give up more than 52 points. Their opponents are averaging just 41.3 points and shooting just 31.7 percent from the floor, and that includes games against Iowa – who mustered just 41 points against the ‘Hoos – and Providence. Yale, who scored 98 points in a win at Washington, scored 38 points at Virginia.

“Best defense I have ever seen,” said a coach that played against UVA this season. “They are like boa constrictor, just make you work so damn hard for everything. They wear you out with their offense, too, so when you actually get an open shot, it doesn’t go in.”

Think about this stat for a second: In the 15 seasons that KenPom.com has been in existence, the lowest ever points-per-possession recorded by a defense had been 0.843 PPP, which was done by Stephen F. Austin in 2012. The record-low for a high-major team was 0.847 PPP by the 2015 Kentucky team that started out the year 38-0. Through six games this year, Virginia is allowing just 0.708 PPP.

4. Louisville isn’t winning much if they can’t figure out how to shoot: The Cardinals have one of the nation’s elite defenses this season, but that defense is only going to get them so far if they cannot find a way to score. Through five games, the Cardinals rank 287th in effective field goal percentage. They’re making just 32 percent of their threes and 65.2 percent of their free throws. The biggest culprits? Donovan Mitchell, Quentin Snider and Deng Adel. Snider and Adel are both shooting under 30 percent from the floor on the season; Mitchell is under 40 percent.

This team does everything else well. They don’t turn the ball over, they get to the offensive glass, they’re one of the nation’s best defensively, but until they can find a way to score consistently – and find a go-to guy – they’ll be very beatable once teams figure out how to beat their defense.

Just like Baylor did on Friday.

5. Deonte Burton showed his importance to Iowa State in Orlando: Burton averaged 25.0 points, 9.5 boards and 1.5 blocks in Iowa State’s 73-56 win over Miami and their 73-71 loss to No. 11 Gonzaga this week. The Cyclones have no size this season. The 6-foot-5 Burton is their starting power forward, and he spends time playing the five as well. If Iowa State is going to be as good as they expect to be this year, Burton is going to have to play the way that he did this week, taking advantage of mismatches against bigger defenders offensively while holding his own in the paint on the defensive end of the floor.

Burton was not great in the first two weeks of the season. When Iowa State looked their best this week, Burton was the best player on the floor. That’s not a coincidence.

SET YOUR DVR

No. 18 Syracuse at No. 16 Wisconsin, Tues. 7:00 p.m.
No. 24 Michigan State at No. 6 Duke, Tues. 9:30 p.m.
No. 17 Purdue at No. 10 Louisville, Weds. 7:15 p.m.
No. 4 North Carolina at No. 3 Indiana, Weds. 9:15 p.m.
No. 14 UCLA at No. 1 Kentucky, Sat. 12:30 p.m.
No. 19 West Virginia at No. 7 Virginia, Sat. 2:00 p.m.
No. 9 Xavier at No. 20 Baylor, Sat. 4:00 p.m.
No. 11 Gonzaga at No. 8 Arizona, Sat. 5:30 p.m.

Terps score stunning last-minute comeback against Hoyas

Melo Trimble
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
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It wasn’t a thing of beauty or expertly executed, but Maryland’s meeting with Georgetown sure was intense and exciting.

The Hoyas led by seven with just over a minute left, but fumbled away the victory will sloppy play and mistakes as the Terps came from behind to win 76-75 in a Gavitt Tipoff Games matchup Tuesday night.

Much of the evening was a slog with fouls wiping away any opportunity for the game to be played with any type of flow, but the finish offered redemption for a game that featured a combined 56 fouls and 64 free throws.

After going up 70-63 with 1:14 left, Georgetown surrendered a 3-pointer, sent Maryland to the line for six free throws and committed two turnovers that allowed the Terps the unlikely comeback.

The game’s wildest moments were saved for the finish.

The Terps cut the lead to three, 73-70, with 19 seconds left, and as Georgetown inbounded the ball, Rodney Pryor was whistled for traveling as he slid upon receiving the pass. Then, the Hoyas sent Anthony Cowan to the line with a deadball foul that allowed the Terps to add two points without the clock dwindling.

Tre Campbell followed that up with a pair of free throws, but Melo Trimble answered with a layup. On the ensuing inbounds, Campbell tried to get around a trap, but dribbled out of bounds to give Maryland the ball down just one.

Trimble then made a pair of free throws after he was fouled on the inbounds pass to give Maryland a lead that Kevin Huerter would protect on the other end when he blocked Jagan Mosely’s potential game-winning layup as time expired.

It was a wild, wild finish and one that undoubtedly will leave Georgetown wondering exactly what went wrong. It’s hard to term the finish anything short of a meltdown as it failing to finish off a seemingly sure-thing in the final minute at home against a rival. The Hoyas have some solid non-conference opportunities still ahead of them with Oregon and Syracuse on the docket, but it’s going to be difficult to get over this result.

For the Terps, it’s a stunning turnaround. Trimble’s final line is solid – 22 points on 7 of 14 shooting along with two rebounds and two assists – but it doesn’t really tell the full story of how well he played, carrying Maryland for major stretches. Justin Jackson providing 17 points off the bench is a big development as well.

Trimble coming back to Terps

Maryland guard Melo Trimble (AP Photo/Matt Hazlett)
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Melo Trimble is returning to Maryland.

The Terrapin guard will be back to for his junior season in College Park, according to multiple reports.

Trimble went from freshman first-rounder to question mark after a rough end to his sophomore season for Maryland in which his points per game, shooting percentage (both overall and from 3-point range) and rebounding dipped from his first season. Only his assists per game showed any sort of improvement. He waited until the last possible day to announce his intentions to return to school, but really his options were limited after seeing his production drop.

His decision to come back to school gives him a shot to restore his draft stock while Maryland gets its floor general back to help ease the transition from last year’s Sweet 16 squad that lost Diamond Stone, Rasheed Sulaimon and Jake Layman. The Terps might not be a sure-fire top-25 team with Trimble back, but their NCAA tournament chances are now significantly higher.

Terps players discuss how Running Man Challenge came to be

Maryland guard Jared Nickens (11) reacts with teammates including forward Jake Layman (10) and forward Damonte Dodd (35) during a break in the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Illinois, Thursday, March 3, 2016, in College Park, Md. Maryland won 81-55. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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What began as a way for a few Maryland players to amuse themselves has turned into a viral Internet sensation.

The Terps created “The Running Man Challenge,” and now, with videos upon videos upon videos populating the Internet, it’s a bona fide sensation.

“We didn’t plan on it being as big as it is, it really just started with us messing around and having fun in the locker room,” the Terps’ Jaylen Brantley told the school’s website. “I realized it was probably going to be big when Villanova responded to our challenge of “Who wants to battle?” on Instagram after one of the videos. It’s just really taken off since then.”

You can find many of the Terps’ videos over at Jared Nickens’ Instagram page. Teams and players from across sports have gotten into the act as it gained popularity, but some have already begun saying it’s peaked as local newscasters are now doing their own dorky renditions.

“We were just having fun,” Jared Nickens said. “I’ve probably watched a thousand videos from across the country. I’m glad people are enjoying it so much.”
The Terps aren’t done with the fad yet.

“We’ve got a few things coming up but we’re not ready to release any details on it,” Brantley said. “There will be a brand new dance coming soon – one that Jaylen, Dion (Wiley), Melo (Trimble) and I created.

“We’ll keep you hanging for now though.”

No. 6 Maryland beats Maryland Eastern Shore 77-56

Ahmad Frost, Melo Trimble
Associated Press
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) Melo Trimble scored 18 points, and No. 6 Maryland found its shooting form in the second half to pull away to a 77-56 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore on Saturday.

After struggling to take a 35-29 halftime lead, the Terrapins (9-1) made their first eight shots from the field after intermission during a 27-11 run that made it 62-40. Trimble contributed three 3-pointers to the surge.

Maryland didn’t miss a field goal try in the second half until Michal Cekovsky botched a layup with 8:45 remaining.

It was 69-46 with 5:35 left, and the Terps coasted from there. Maryland shot 63 percent in the second half and finished 21 for 25 from the free throw line.

Dominique Elliott led UMES (1-9) with 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting.

Coming off a 78-35 thrashing by No. 1 Michigan State, the Hawks put up a far better fight in this one – especially in the first half.

Rasheed Sulaimon had a career-high 10 assists for Maryland and Diamond Stone added 12 points and six rebounds. The Terrapins have won three straight since their lone loss, at North Carolina.

Maryland’s halftime lead could be attributed in part to a 9-for-10 performance at the free throw line compared to 3 for 4 for UMES.

Just before the break, the Terrapins were working the clock for a final shot when senior Jake Layman casually threw a pass that was intercepted by Derrico Peck, who dunked the ball on the opposite end.

Terps coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with 2.6 seconds left to scold his players. He almost assuredly continued the conversation in the locker room at halftime.

After beginning the game by making five of its first six shots, Maryland went 1 for 11 from the field and led only 20-17 after going scoreless for nearly 3 minutes.

Stone then made two baskets and a free throw in a 13-2 run.

TIP-INS

UMES: The Hawks fell to 0-17 against Maryland. … In addition to losing to highly touted Maryland, Georgetown and Michigan State, UMES is 0-2 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Maryland: The Terrapins had 10 assists on their 11 first-half field goals. By the end, only five of Maryland’s 23 baskets were made without assists. … The Terrapins were outrebounded 29-26.

UP NEXT

UMES hosts Old Dominion on Friday night.

Maryland plays Princeton in Baltimore on Saturday night.

SATURDAY’S SNACKS: No. 4 Iowa State, No. 24 Cincinnati win tournaments

Mick Cronin
Associated Press
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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 24 Cincinnati 61, George Washington 56

The Bearcats picked up their best win of the season in the Barclays Center as they came back in the second half to beat George Washington. Guard Troy Caupain led Cincinnati with 16 points while Farad Cobb and Kevin Johnson had 11 points each.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

Nebraska 82, Tennessee 71: The Huskers had a strong performance from Tai Webster (18 points) and balanced scoring in a neutral-site win over the Volunteers. Andrew White added 15 points while Shavon Shields and Jake Hammond each finished with 11. Nebraska moves to 5-2 with the win.

No. 4 Iowa State 84, Illinois 73: The Cyclones took control of the game with a 12-2 second half run, combining an efficient offense with solid defense to beat the Fighting Illini. Georges Niang led the way for the Cyclones, who are now 5-0 on the season, with 23 points while also grabbing eight rebounds. Malcolm Hill paced Illinois with 20 points, but the loss of Mike Thorne Jr. (left knee) became an issue as the second half wore on.

Seton Hall 69, Georgia 62: The Pirates picked up a solid victory Saturday night in Newark, with an Isaiah Whitehead three in the final minute serving as the dagger. Whitehead scored 22 points and Khadeen Carrington added 20 to go along with six rebounds and three assists for the winner. Yante Maten led four Bulldogs in double figures with 18 points to go along with eight rebounds.

STARRED

Gavin Ware, Mississippi State: The Bulldogs won big over Tennessee-Martin as Ware had 22 points, 10 rebounds and three assists while going 9-for-12 from the field.

Eric Washington, Miami (Ohio): The RedHawks were able to beat UCF as Washington’s go-ahead jumper with 23 seconds left was the difference. The senior guard finished with 15 points, six rebounds, six steals and three assists.

James Daniel, Howard: The nation’s leading scorer was up to his usual tricks Saturday, scoring 39 points and hitting the game-winning three-pointer in the final seconds of the Bison’s 79-77 win over William & Mary.

Kyle Collinsworth, BYU: Collinsworth, who posted six triple-doubles last season, fell just short of his first in 2015-16 in BYU’s 95-81 win over Belmont. 26 points, nine rebounds, ten assists and just two turnovers.

STRUGGLED

Bosko Kostur, Bryant: Kostur scored five points on 2-for-12 shooting in the Bulldogs’ loss at Georgetown.

Jacolby Mobley, UT-Martin: Mobley went scoreless, missing all seven shots from the field, in the Skyhawks’ loss to Mississippi State.

Wright State: The Raiders scored just ten first-half points in their 66-39 loss at George Mason, finishing the game shooting 23.1 percent from the field.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • Robert Carter Jr. accounted for 17 points, eight rebounds and three assists as No. 2 Maryland pulled away for an 80-63 win over Cleveland State. Next up for the Terrapins is No. 9 North Carolina on Tuesday.
  • Isaac Haas scored 24 points and Vince Edwards contributed nine points, ten rebounds and seven assists as No. 16 Purdue beat Lehigh, 77-55. Johnny Hill scored 13 points off the bench for the Boilermakers.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS 

  • Georgetown ran past Bryant as L.J. Peak finished with 20 points on 6-for-8 shooting.
  • Siena moved to 4-2 with an overtime win over Loyola (MD) as the Saints had five players in double-figures. Marquis Wright led the way with 21 points. At one point, Siena was down 15 in the second half.
  • Martez Harrison scored 25 points, 17 in the second half, as UMKC outlasted South Dakota State.
  • Penn State held off Bucknell as Brandon Taylor had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
  • Stefan Moody finished with 21 points as Ole Miss won at Bradley.
  • In a small mid-major upset, Ball State defeated Valparaiso, 69-66, as Bo Calhoun led with 15 points. Alec Peters had 28 points in a loss for the Crusaders.
  • UTEP came back from a 17-point halftime deficit to beat Colorado State 99-90 in double overtime.
  • Having already won at San Diego State this season, Little Rock went to Tulsa and beat the Golden Hurricane 64-60. Josh Hagins led the way with 17 points, ten rebounds and eight assists.
  • Bob McKillop picked up his 500th win as head coach at Davidson, with the Wildcats beating Denison College 83-70. Brian Sullivan led the way with 23 points.
  • Louisville pulled away in the second half to beat Saint Louis 77-57 in Brooklyn. Mangok Mathiang led the way with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
  • Zach LeDay (15 points, ten rebounds) and Chris Clarke (ten points, 16 rebounds) posted double-doubles as Virginia Tech beat UAB 82-77 in overtime.
  • BYU outscored Belmont 55-39 in the second half, winning by the final score of 95-81. Kyle Collinsworth led the way, Nick Emery scored a team-high 27 points and Chase Fischer added 19. Craig Bradshaw led the Bruins with 26 points.
  • UNLV took care of Prairie View A&M, 80-62, in Las Vegas. However starting big man Stephen Zimmerman left the game in the first half with a sprained ankle.
  • Reggie Uoshaw scored 17 points and Giddy Potts added 16 as Middle Tennessee beat Toledo 77-70 in the title game of the Great Alaska Shootout.