Maryland looks to return to its winning ways this weekend as it travels to St. Thomas for the Paradise Jam. It marks the program’s first trip to St. Thomas in school history. The Terps are guaranteed to play at least three games, as the field includes Northern Iowa, Loyola Marymount, Marist, Providence, Vanderbilt, Morgan State and La Salle.
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• The Terps have played 68 in-season tournaments in their history, garnering an all-time record of 110-51 (.683) with 28 championships and 12 runner-up finishes. The program’s last in-season tournament championship came in the 2006 2K Sports Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. Maryland defeated Michigan State in the finals, 62-60, on Nov. 17.
• Maryland dropped its first non-conference game at the Comcast Center since 2009 when it fell to Oregon State, 90-83, last Sunday with President Barack Obama in attendance. Dez Wells had a game-high 23 points in the effort, as Maryland had five scorers in double-figures.
• Junior Evan Smotrycz is averaging 13.3 ppg after posting a season-high 16 points against Oregon State. He is the first player to notch double-digit point totals in his first three games in a Maryland uniform since Alex Len. Len tallied point totals of 14, 13, 15 and 12 (13.5 ppg) over the course of those four games between Dec. 28, 2011-Jan. 8, 2012.
Last Time Out
The Terps fell to Oregon State in an offensive shootout last Sunday, 90-83, as President Barack Obama looked on in attendance. The total combined points (173) was the most at Comcast Center since Maryland defeated Seattle University, 105-76 (181), on November 8, 2010.
Maryland spread the ball effectively on the offensive end, as five players posted double-figure scoring totals. Dez Wells led the way with a season-high 23 points, while Evan Smotrycz had a season-high 16 points.
Trailing by as many as 12 points in the second half, the Terrapins cut their deficit to two points, 65-63, with 9:11 remaining. The sides traded points the remainder of the game before Oregon State’s Roberto Nelson knocked down a critical jumper with 29 seconds left to give the visitors an insurmountable five point lead.
Marist is off to a slow start in 2013-14 after beginning the season on a four-game losing streak. The Red Foxes have lost by an average margin of 26.8 points, including a 45-point defeat (93-48) to Providence in its most recent outing on Nov. 16.
Chavaughn Lewis and Khallid Hart lead the Red Foxes with 15.0 ppg and 10.3 ppg, respectively, while Adam Kemp is averaging 6.0 rebounds. Hart totaled 21 points in Marist’s loss at Providence.
The Rod Foxes return much of their production from a side that went 10-21 last season, including 77.8 pct. of their scoring, 81.6 pct. of their minutes and 89.6 pct. of their rebounds.
Head coach Jeff Bower is in his first season with Marist after being hired on April 10, 2013. He previously spent 18 seasons in the NBA, including various roles with the Hornets franchise from 1995-2010.
A Presidential Appearance
Maryland spectators received a special treat last Sunday as President Barack Obama and his family attended the basketball game at Comcast Center against Oregon State.
Smotrycz Shines Early
Transfer Evan Smotrycz had to wait 601 days between his final game at Michigan on March 16, 2012 and his first game at Maryland on Nov. 8. His potential ability to help the Terps was well-documented, but he had yet to have a chance to prove it prior to this season.
Smotrycz has delivered in his first three games as a Terrapin, posting double-figure scoring totals in all three games (13, 11, 16). He is the first Maryland player to accomplish the feat since Alex Len had double-figures in his first four games two seasons ago.
The 6-9 redshirt junior is second on the team in both points (13.3 pg) and rebounds (6.7 pg) this season.
In-Season Tournament History
The Terrapins have a long history of participation in in-season tournaments dating back to 1953 when they took part in the All-American City Tournament in Owensboro, Ky. Maryland defeated all three opponents, including Kentucky Wesleyan in the finals, to claim the tournament crown.
Maryland is 110-51 (.683) all-time in in-season tournaments, including 28 championships and 12 runner-up finishes. The team’s last tournament crown came in 2006 when it defeated Michigan State, 62-60, in the finals of the 2KSports Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Last season the Terps went 3-1 in the Barclays Center Classic, falling to Kentucky in the opening game, 72-69.
• Guard Seth Allen broke his left foot in practice on Oct. 29 and is expected to miss 10 weeks.
• Evan Smotrycz became the first player since Alex Len to record double-digit point totals in the first three games of his Maryland career.
• Maryland won 25 games in a season for the ninth time in school history last year. The Terps also won 25 or more in 1971-72 (27), 1984-85 (25), 1994-95 (26), 1998-99 (28), 1999-2000 (25), 2000-01 (25), 2001-02 (32) and 2006-07 (25). Mark Turgeon is the third Maryland coach to achieve the feat, joining Lefty Driesell and Gary Williams.
• Turgeon’s win percentage of .600 (42-28) through his first two seasons is the best mark by a Maryland coach in program history. Bud Millikan had a .592 winning percentage, Gary Williams had a .574 mark and Lefty Driesell garnered a .519 percentage.
• The Terps appeared in the NIT for the eighth time in school history last year, and hold a 14-7 record in the tournament.
• The NIT appearance marked the ninth time in the last 11 years that head coach Mark Turgeon has led his team to the postseason. Turgeon led Wichita State to the NIT in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2006. He then led Texas A&M to the NCAA second round all four of his years in College Station (2008-11).
• Head coach Mark Turgeon’s teams have won at least 20 games in five of the last six seasons and eight of the last 10.
• Maryland set a single-season record for games played (38) last season. The previous record was 37 in 1984-85.
• Maryland did not beat a ranked opponent in either of the two seasons prior to last year. The Terps had three wins over a ranked team last year: No. 14/15 NC State (Jan. 16), No. 2/1 Duke (Feb. 16), and No. 2/2 Duke (March 15).
• The 13-game winning streak Maryland went on last season was tied for the second longest in school history, trailing just the 14-game streak the Terps went on in 1931-32.
Terps Haul in Top-5 Class
Head coach Mark Turgeon and the Maryland coaching staff announced the addition of a consensus top-five recruiting class Nov. 14, signing standouts 6-2 guard Romelo Trimble, 6-4 guard Dion Wiley, 6-6 forward Jared Nickens and 7-1 center Trayvon Reed for the 2014-15 season.
All four players rank among the top-100 players in the country, as both Wiley and Trimble are among the top-50 according to major recruiting outlets.
This marks the third consecutive top-20 recruiting class for Turgeon during his tenure at Maryland.
Second Half Run Sparks Terps over Abilene Christian
Maryland overcame a lackluster first half against an upstart Abilene Christian side Wednesday at Comcast Center when it finished the contest on a 29-0 run to win, 67-44.
Abilene Christian shot 12-of-30 from the field in the first half, with six of those field goals coming beyond the 3-point arc. The Wildcats’ Parker Wentz posted 13 first half points (3-4 3-pt) to guide the visiting side to a surprising 30-29 halftime advantage.
The Terps responded in the second half, however, as Charles Mitchell took advantage of his size and dominated the post to the tune of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Abilene Christian did not register a single point in the final 14 minutes of the game.
The Wildcats were also held to zero free throw attempts – a feat that Maryland had not accomplished since Feb. 6, 1993 vs. Georgia Tech.
Layman Scoring in Bunches
Jake Layman’s ability to score in bunches when the Terps need a lift has become habit for the sophomore through the first two games of the season.
Maryland was shooting just 1-for-12 from 3-point range before Layman knocked down three 3-pointers in a span of 3:23 to spark the Terps’ remarkable 29-0 run. Layman was the catalyst for 14 of the first 18 points in the run. Layman also had nine points in an 11-0 run against UConn in the season opener.
Terps Fall to #19 UConn in Nail-Biter
Maryland showed incredible resiliency in its season-opener against No. 19 Connecticut last Friday at Barclays Center, climbing back from a 17-point second half deficit to earn an opportunity for a game-winning shot in the waning seconds. With six seconds remaining on the clock, Evan Smotrycz inbounded the ball to Dez Wells at the elbow, but the junior’s game-winning bid rimmed out as UConn held on for the 78-77 victory.
Junior Nick Faust had a team-high 17 points, including a critical string of consecutive baskets toward the end of the game, while Wells finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Smotrycz had 13 points and nine rebounds in his Terrapin debut, sparking Maryland with a 4-for-4 shooting start.
Varun Ram appeared in his first contest in a Maryland uniform, while freshmen Roddy Peters (18 mins., 5 pts.) andDamonte Dodd made their collegiate debuts.