It hasn’t exactly been a secret, but Anthony Cowan has barely had a chance to rest in conference play this year.
Cowan has played every minute of this game and he is not showing it pic.twitter.com/B2ltfskEdj
— Terps Watch (@TerpsWatch) January 28, 2018
Cowan has played in 97 percent of Maryland’s Big Ten minutes, and he’s been on the court for 120 straight minutes during the Terps’ games against Penn State, Northwestern and Nebraska. We blogged about how little rest he’s gotten on Jan. 27, and not much has changed since then.
While Cowan’s playing time has especially been noticeable, two other people have played in a higher percentage of Maryland’s Big Ten minutes than anyone on the 2016-17 squad: Kevin Huerter and Darryl Morsell. Huerter has played in 87.8 percent of the team’s conference minutes, while Morsell sits at 83.8 percent.
The best way to understand how much playing time this trio has gotten is by looking at this table.
On last year’s team, no one needed to play in more than 81 percent of the Big Ten minutes. Now, three players do. Also, there are now two Terps who are in the top 10 in this regard after no one made it there for the 2016-17 squad.
Back when Melo Trimble was a freshman and the star of the 2014-15 Terps, he played in 85.2 percent of the team’s Big Ten minutes, which failed to crack the top 10 that season. That makes Cowan’s 97 percent seem even more ridiculous than it already is.
Of course, it’s not exactly a secret why Maryland’s had three players play so much this season: injuries. Justin Jackson and Ivan Bender are out for the season, which has forced the Terps’ rotation to operate with nine scholarship players (at most). Michal Cekovsky and Dion Wiley have also missed games with injury, and Sean Obi is barely on the court, even when healthy.
Maryland has struggled to win close games after being able to pull them out pretty regularly when Melo Trimble was here. Some of that is a result of the fact that Trimble excelled under pressure.
However, there’s another factor that might be just as important: When the Terps get to the end of the game, Cowan isn’t the only starter who could be running out of gas.