COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland plays its final game of the Barclays Center Classic on Friday when LIU Brooklyn visits Comcast Center. The Terps are coming off a 67-45 win over Morehead State, which along with Kentucky and LIU Brooklyn made up the four-team field of the Classic.
• A balanced scoring effort led Maryland to its 22-point victory over Morehead State, which marked the 36th consecutive home opener the Terps have won. Nick Faust scored a game-high 12 points and Alex Len added 11 points and seven rebounds. Of the 10 players who received double-digit minutes, nine of them scored and seven tallied six points or more.
• The Terps were also able to show off their depth against Morehead State – Len logged the most minutes of any player with 24, and 10 players saw at least 13 minutes. That helped enable a strong defensive effort that held Morehead State to 31.7 percent shooting and just 7.1 percent from 3-point. Meanwhile, Maryland responded from a 33.3 percent-shooting effort against Kentucky to shoot 48.9 percent against the Eagles, including a .609 mark in the second half.
• Len has been Maryland’s most impactful player early on, with averages of 17 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. The 7-foot-1 center has added more than 30 pounds of muscle to his frame since arriving at Maryland in addition to adding range to his jump shot, and he has a team-high seven blocks.
• Len is one of four key returnees from last season, along with senior James Padgett, junior Pe’Shon Howard and sophomore Nick Faust. Howard is averaging 6 assists per game, while Faust is second on the team in scoring at 11.5 points per game and Padgett is third at 9.5.
• Maryland’s 22-point margin of victory over Morehead State matched its largest in all of last season (vs. Samford).
• After Morehead State cut Maryland’s lead to 10 points with 13:21 remaining, Maryland went on a 16-3 run over the next 5:28 to put the game out of reach. Six different players contributed a field goal to that run, including 3-pointers by Logan Aronhalt and Dez Wells.
• Maryland is outscoring its opponents by an average of 14.5 points per game when Alex Len is on the floor (plus-6 vs. Kentucky, plus-23 vs. Morehead State). Seth Allen is next highest at plus-9.0.
• Against Morehead State, the Terps made more free throws (17) than the Eagles attempted (8).
• Head coach Mark Turgeon and his staff signed a consensus top-20 recruiting class this season with freshmen Seth Allen, Shaquille Cleare, Jake Layman and Charles Mitchell.
The influx of talent gives Maryland the opportunity to extend a streak of being recognized for having talented young players in the program – for three years in a row, a Terp has been on the ACC All-Freshman Team. Prior to Nick Faust last year, Terrell Stoglin was honored in 2011 and Jordan Williams was honored in 2010.
Force on the Boards
• The Terps have built advantages on the boards in each of their first two games this season. Maryland outrebounded Kentucky 54-38, a plus-16 margin that marks the schools best performance against a ranked team since outrebounding No. 10 Wake Forest by a plus-20 margin on Feb. 17, 2003.
• Maryland outrebounded Morehead State, 40-32, and through two games is averaging a plus-12 margin on the boards. Alex Len and Charles Mitchell are the biggest factors in that, as each are averaging 9.5 rebounds per game.
• Len has nine offensive rebounds, Mitchell has eight and the Terps are averaging 21.5 offensive rebounds per game. North Carolina (23.0) is the only ACC school averaging more.
Mitchell made an impressive debut by grabbing 10 rebounds in his first career game, against No. 3 Kentucky. That’s the most rebounds by a Maryland freshman in his debut since Buck Williams had 13 against Bucknell in 1978. Williams went on to lead the ACC in rebounding that year (10.8 pg) en route to capturing ACC Rookie of the Year honors.
Two of the better rebounders in recent memory, Joe Smith and Jordan Williams, didn’t reach double-digit boards until their third and fourth games, respectively.