Three observations from Maryland’s exhibition win over Fayetteville State

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Maryland sophomore guard Eric Ayala scored 13 points against Fayetteville State on Friday night. (Photo from Maryland Athletics)

The Maryland men’s basketball team, the seventh best team in the nation, was clicking on both ends of the floor in it’s 76-43 exhibition victory over Fayetteville State on Friday evening. 

Fayetteville was trailing by a point during the early parts of the first half, but the Terps would use a 11-0 scoring run to set the stage for their blowout victory.  

Maryland senior point guard Anthony Cowan Jr. didn’t start, but still managed to score a game-high 16 points (5-6 FG) in 23 minutes of play. Sophomore forward Jalen Smith, a projected top 20 pick in the NBA Draft, registered 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. 

Sophomore guard Erica Ayala, who started a guard, tallied 13 points and converted a pair of three pointers. 

Maryland was able to get a good look at its depth, experimenting with different lineups on the floor. No matter who the Terps had in the game, they were able to keep the defensive intensity, as they held Fayetteville State to 32% shooting. 

Maryland will open up the highly anticipated 2019-20 season against Holy Cross at home on Nov. 5. Cowan is expected to start that game, which will be the 100th straight time he was in Maryland’s starting lineup.  

Three Observations: 

– The Terps were solid defensively, as they transitioned between a 3-2 zone and man defense. Maryland held the Broncos to less than 35% shooting and kept them scoreless during the opening four minutes of the second half. The Terps forced 12 turnovers and generated seven steals, which led to a handful of fastbreak scoring attempts. Maryland’s defense played a big role in its 11-0 run during the middle of the first half. Sophomore Ricky Lindo Jr., who was in the starting  lineup, recorded three steals. 

– Turgeon spoke highly of the depth within the Terps’ roster and it showed, as the Terps had nine players earn minutes in the first half. Maryland started the second half with Cowan, Darryl Morsell, Aaron Wiggins, Smith and freshman Makhi Mitchell on the floor. This could be a potential starting lineup during the season especially if the Terps need size and defense down low. We can possibly expect Maryland to roll with different lineups depending on the matchup. 

– Maryland freshmen Donta Scott and Mitchell displayed their toughness in the victory. Scott registered 10 points and five rebounds while bouncing between the small and power forward position. Mitchell didn’t do too much on offense, but his presence was truly felt on the defensive end, registering eight rebounds and two blocks. Mitchell was able to provide the Terps a strong interior presence alongside Smith. Mitchell also showed his capability to jump out of the paint and defend on the wing, which is valuable for a Maryland team that’s expected to be versatile. 

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About Ryan McFadden 481 Articles
Ryan is the founder/editor-in-chief of Inside The Locker Room. He graduated from Iona College in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in Journalism, and he is currently pursuing a Master's degree at the University of Maryland in College Park.

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