COLLEGE PARK, Md. – In the midst of an eight-game winning streak that is Maryland’s longest since the 2006 season, the Terps continue their December homestand as Monmouth visits Comcast Center Wednesday at 8 p.m. Maryland and Monmouth have met twice in school history, in 1988 and 2001, with the Terps winning both games.
• The Terps have tinkered with the starting lineup in each of the last two games, as Shaquille Cleare, Seth Allen and Jake Layman drew their first starts against UMES, and Charles Mitchell and Logan Aronhalt drew their first starts vs. South Carolina State. Maryland’s depth has been an asset all season, as 10 players are averaging double-figure minutes and eight are averaging at least 6.0 points per game.
• The win over South Carolina State extended Maryland’s winning streak to eight games, which is the longest since the Terps opened the 2006-07 season on an eight-game win streak. A win over Monmouth would give the Terps their longest winning streak since 2002, when they won 13 in a row between January and March.
• In each of the past two games, Maryland was able to clear its bench, with all 14 eligible players seeing action. Twelve Terps scored at least one point against UMES, and 10 scored against South Carolina State. The Maryland bench outscored its opponents 82-16 over the past two games and on the season has a 252-108 advantage.
• Maryland’s biggest advantages have come in rebounding margin, assists and field goal percentage defense. In all nine games, the Terps have outrebounded their opponent, and they rank second nationally with a plus-15.2 rebounding margin.Pe’Shon Howard leads the league with 5.9 assists per game, and as a team Maryland ranks third nationally with 18.8 per game. The Terps have held their opponent under 35 percent shooting in five straight games, and are tied for 10th nationally in field goal percentage defense (.354) on the year.
• Maryland’s three primary ball handlers rank in the top 6 in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio. Pe’Shon Howard is first at 3.31,Nick Faust is fifth at 2.33, and Seth Allen is sixth at 2.26.
• When Seth Allen, Jake Layman and Shaquille Cleare drew starts against UMES, it marked the first time Maryland started three true freshmen since Dec. 28, 1993, when Keith Booth, Matt Kovarik and Joe Smith did vs. Hofstra.
• In Maryland’s eight-game winning streak, the Terps have assisted on 152 of 222 field goals (68.5 percent).
• Six different players have led Maryland in scoring during the eight-game winning streak. Nick Faust had 12 vs. Morehead State, Seth Allen had 19 vs. LIU Brooklyn, Alex Len had 16 vs. Lafayette, Charles Mitchell had 13 vs. Georgia Southern, andDez Wells had 23 vs. Northwestern and 25 vs. George Mason. Logan Aronhalt was then the high scorer vs. UMES with 17, and Alex Len was with 13 vs. S.C. State.
• The Terps have made more free throws than the opponent has attempted this season (148 to 127).
• At least eight players have scored in eight of Maryland’s nine games this year. The exception is vs. George Mason, when just seven players scored.
Dominating the Paint
• Maryland has enjoyed an advantage in points in the paint throughout the year. The Terps have outscored the opponent in eight of nine games, with the exception being the Morehead State game when each team had 28. On average, Maryland is scoring 39.8 points in the paint while holding its opponent to 22.2 points.
• Maryland’s bench has been an asset all season, as the Terps’ non-starters have outscored the opponents non-starters in seven of nine games (exceptions are Kentucky & George Mason).
• On the year, Maryland’s bench has a 252-108 advantage over the opponent. The biggest advantage Maryland has had this season was against UMES on Dec. 5 (55-7).
• Seth Allen (6.3 ppg), Shaquille Cleare (6.3 ppg), Charles Mitchell (6.0 ppg) and Logan Aronhalt (6.0 ppg) have been the biggest contributors.
• Aronhalt is the long-range specialist. He hit all four of his 3-point attempts vs. Georgia Southern and made 3 of 5 at Northwestern. Against UMES, Aronhalt scored a season-high 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range. On the year, he has hit 17 of 28 from 3-point range (.607).
• After averaging 6.0 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as a freshman, Alex Len has developed into Maryland’s most consistent scoring threat as a sophomore. Len is averaging 13.9 points per game, which ranks first in the ACC among centers and tied for 11th overall. His 8.7 rebounds per game rank fifth. Len also ranks third in the league with 2.3 blocks per game. He has two double-doubles this season: against Kentucky (23 & 12) and Northwestern (13 & 13).
More on Assists
• Maryland ranks third nationally with 18.8 assists per game behind North Carolina (20.1) and Pittsburgh (18.9).
• Pe’Shon Howard, who leads the ACC with 5.9 assists per game, would be in some rare company if he can average 6.0 assists per game this season. In the past 25 years, just three players have averaged more than 6.0 assists per game at Maryland: Terrell Stokes in 1998-99, Steve Blake from 1999-2003, and Greivis Vasquez in 2007-08 and 2009-10.
• Maryland’s 28 assists against LIU Brooklyn were nine more than the team’s season-high of 19 last year. In fact, the last time a Maryland team had more assists in a game was in the 2002-03 season, when the Terps had 29 on two occasions. The Terps also had 28 assists in a game on 2/9/11 vs. Longwood and 12/31/05 vs. VMI. The school record for assists in a game is 37.
• Howard’s 13 assists vs. LIU Brooklyn are tied for the fourth-most in a single game by a Terp. The only better performances are: Greivis Vasquez (2008) and Terrell Stokes (1998) with 15; and Steve Blake (2002) and Terrell Stokes (1996) with 14.
Force on the Boards
• Maryland leads the Atlantic Coast Conference and ranks second nationally in rebounding margin at plus-15.2 per game. The only team in the nation with a better margin is Colorado State (plus-16.1).
• The Terps have built advantages on the boards in all nine games this season. Against Northwestern, Maryland built a 47-19 advantage on the boards, the largest margin this season.
• Alex Len and Charles Mitchell are the biggest factors in that; Len averages 8.7 rpg and Mitchell averages 6.9. Len ranks fifth in the conference and Mitchell ranks 13th, including first among freshmen. There are five Terps averaging at least 4.0 rebounds per game (also Dez Wells, James Padgett and Nick Faust).
• Len is tied for second in the conference with 3.3 offensive rebounds per game, and the Terps are averaging 15.6 offensive rebounds per game as a team, second in the league behind North Carolina (16.6).
• 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.