The Terps picked up a 79-65 win over the Butler Bulldogs at a packed Xfinity Center. Here are our grades for each Terps player and head coach Mark Turgeon.
College Park – The Xfinity Center was rocking on a Wednesday night as the Maryland Terrapins took down the Butler Bulldogs, 79-65. The Terps moved to 3-0 with the win, and after each and every game, we grade each Terrapin and head coach Mark Turgeon.
Anthony Cowan – A
Where was this play last season? He attacks the basket constantly to not only score for himself, but create opportunities for teammates as well. He started the game with two lob passes to Ceko before inserting himself into the offense. Cowan loves contact in the paint as took 15 shots from the charity stripe. His three pointer from way downtown with 6:18 to go really broke Butler’s back and officially put the game out of reach. He finished with a double-double – 25 points and 10 rebounds – and has clearly taken over as the facilitator of the Maryland offense. The other two sophomores garnered much of the national attention heading into the season, but this is Cowan’s show to run.
Dion Wiley – B+
The redshirt junior was inserted into the starting lineup for only the second time in his career and made his mark as a threat from deep, finishing 3-of-5 from long range. That is exactly what Turgeon needs from Wiley to open the lane for Cowan to penetrate the defense. As long as Wiley can continue to fill that role, he should remain in the starting lineup for much of the season.
Kevin Huerter – C
It was another game for Huerter in which he has involved in the action throughout, but wasn’t spectacular either. He finished the game with nine points, seven rebounds and five assists, but the key takeaway will be that he fouled out with just over two minutes remaining. The fifth foul was the worst of the evening as he clearly pushed his defender trying to free himself. Fortunately for Maryland, they held a sizable lead at the time of his disqualification.
Justin Jackson – B-
It was a quiet first half offensively for the sophomore, but he made up for it with eight rebounds in the opening 20 minutes. He also did not need to as the rest of the group stepped up. His 10th rebound came on an offensive board and layup underneath the basket. A few possessions later, he got a fast break going with a block. Turgeon told reporters after the game he has to do more to get Jackson to put up more than four shots, but the best thing about Jackson is he can impact the game even when he is not scoring.
Michal Cekovsky – B
Ceko opened the scoring for the Terps with the first five points, four of which came via a lob pass from Cowan. Later in the first half, it was Huerter that connected with the Slovakian on the alley-oop. He did have a couple moments inside the paint in which he was outmuscled by his defender. He wasn’t a factor at all in the second half as Fernando got much of the playing time at center. A big concern for Turgeon is his 7-foot-1 big man only pulled down one rebound, but he did do a good job of being a rim protector with two blocks and altering several other shots.
Bruno Fernando – A
If Terps fans haven’t fell in love with this guy already, I don’t know what it will take. The freshman big man brings a ton of energy to the floor and is scrappy. That was evident when he dove to the floor for a loose ball to maintain possession. He also showed his hustle on what looked like an easy layup for Butler, but Fernando came flying from behind with the block. Coach Turgeon did mention that the freshman had some lapses on defense in the first half, but his energy is something that cannot be questioned.
Darryl Morsell – A
Maryland’s other freshman played the most minutes of any player off the bench, finishing with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting. He had freshman lapses which are to be expected, but once again proved that he is going to be a difference maker for this team this year. He played 25 minutes and guarded Kamar Baldwin for much of the night, helping limit him to just 15 points on 6-of-21 shooting. Morsell’s three with just over a minute remaining in the game was the icing on the cake as Maryland took down a very solid Butler team.
Jared Nickens – C-
Nickens got a ton of playing time last time out against UMES, but only played four minutes tonight. He did have a turnover that led to a fast break, but Fernando saved the easy bucket with his block in transition.
Ivan Bender – N/A
Like Nickens, Bender saw four minutes of action, but failed to do much. He looks to be buried on the depth chart behind Ceko and Fernando.
Mark Turgeon – A
The decision to put Wiley into the starting five paid off as it opened up space for Cowan to operate. He made an adjustment to the starting group in the second half, going with Fernando over Ceko. It will be interesting to see if inserting Wiley into the lineup was based on the matchup or a trend moving forward. He admitted after the game that “we have a lot to clean up,” but this could be the best group he’s had defensively since being at Maryland. He believes they can only get better moving forward, and if so, that defense should win plenty of games come Big Ten Conference play.