After Michigan finished dispatching the Maryland men’s basketball team on Saturday, there was no more room for doubt the Terps, under the leadership of coach Mark Turgeon, are well-below the program’s standards.
Not only did the No. 17 Wolverines win by 24 to establish Maryland’s worst home loss this century, but they did so with an array of disrespectful gestures and stare downs. Instead of reacting with pride on Senior Day, the Terps could only watch the embarrassing onslaught unfold before them.
Michigan guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman, who scored a career-high 28 points, and his backcourt mate Jordan Poole, who added 12, made sure to enjoy their displays.
Abdur-Rahkman gave Terps players looks throughout the contest after hitting long-range shots. Poole turned and flexed at the crowd following a made triple late in the first half, leading a Maryland fan sitting courtside to get out of his seat and lobby the refs for a technical foul.
“When you look and you’re up by 20 in the first half, it’s just a lot of momentum and energy,” Poole explained. “The fire that I have inside me definitely just came out a little bit.”
The Xfinity Center crowd booed as Maryland entered the locker room down by 30. Given the team’s three straight trips to the NCAA tournament, typical place as a top-half Big Ten squad and history of respectability at home, the fans deserved better, regardless of season-ending injuries to forwards Justin Jackson and Ivan Bender.
But as the Terps have shown all season, no level of motivation is enough for them to avoid the kind of disappointment they suffered against Michigan.
“This game was pretty important to us,” Turgeon said. “We didn’t play like it. But it was pretty important to us.”
Guard Anthony Cowan: B
Cowan led the Terps in points (17) and assists (8) and continued to attack the basket when Michigan had pulled away. Still, he shares blame with the rest of the backcourt for the Wolverines going 15-for-31 from long-range.
Forward Bruno Fernando: B-
While Fernando managed 12 points and four boards, he missed multiple layups and dunks and appeared to vacate his defensive positioning too often to go for highlight-reel blocks.
Guard Kevin Huerter: B-
Abdur-Rahkman outplayed Huerter, as the sophomore put together a meager 12-point effort, which was not nearly enough to upset his counterpart’s 3-point barrage.
Guard Darryl Morsell: B-
Morsell was visibly frustrated in the second half with Michigan in control of an essentially insurmountable advantage. The fiery competitor from Baltimore tried to make up for his worst scoring performance in seven games with tight defense, but the freshman ended up committing four fouls. Following his fourth personal, an assistant coach on the sideline had to hold onto Morsell to calm him down.
Guard Dion Wiley: D+
Wiley couldn’t find his outside stroke, going 0-for-5 from beyond the arc and 1-for-7 overall. Combined with lackluster perimeter defense, that effort hindered a team desperate for its bench contributors to step up.