Maryland men’s basketball has long embraced its offensive reliance on Julian Reese, Donta Scott and Jahmir Young.

“We have three offensive players, and we’re the best defense in the Big Ten,” Young said after the Terps beat then-No. 10 Illinois on Jan. 14.

Maryland’s bench scored just six points in its loss to Rutgers on Tuesday, but the team has grown accustomed to such performances. The bench has averaged a little more than eight points per game against high-major opponents and eclipsed double-digits in just three of its 12 Big Ten games.

But against the Scarlet Knights, the Terps’ consistent contributors struggled. While Reese found success in the upset loss, Scott went 3-for-10 and Young shot 3-for-17. Young tied his season-low for field goals made and recorded his worst field goal percentage of the year.

“There was a lack of urgency all around, on the bench and from the starters,” Young said. “That’s unacceptable with where we’re at in the season and what we have to do, so this is a tough one.”

[Maryland men’s basketball loses to Rutgers, 56-53, in matchup of elite defenses]

Two of Maryland’s three top scorers having off nights made winning on Tuesday nearly impossible — particularly against a Rutgers defense that now ranks No. 2 in the country in KenPoms’s adjusted efficiency rating.

Young credited the Scarlet Knights’ defense, which pressured the fifth-year guard heavily and clogged up driving lanes. Many teams have done the same against Young and the Terps, but none have been able to slow him down to the same extent.
“Jahmir has been so, so good, it’s tough to really critique anything that he’s done,” coach Kevin Willard said. “But he’s struggled a little bit at home, [and] been phenomenal on the road.”

Young averages nearly seven points more on the road than in home games. His shooting percentage is also higher on the road, by about nine percent.

Like Young, the Terps have also been less dominant at home this season. Maryland went 10-0 against Big Ten opponents at Xfinity Center last season and is 3-3 this season after its loss to Rutgers.

[Julian Reese’s foul trouble exposed Maryland’s lack of scoring behind Jahmir Young]

In large part thanks to Young, the Terps have been slightly better on the road this year.

Reese and Scott haven’t produced as much as Young, but respectively average 13.3 and 11.0 points per game. Maryland’s fourth-highest scorer is DeShawn Harris-Smith, who averages just 6.6 points per game.

Reese scored 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting, while the rest of the team shot a combined 9-for-44 against the Scarlet Knights. Scott’s eight points were the lowest he’s scored in a game in more than a month.

Willard also said the Terps’ offense lacked urgency, but the coach was pleased with the defensive effort. It’s been a consistent theme for Maryland, which KenPom ranks as the No. 6 defense nationally. The offense sits at No. 190. 

The bench’s deficiencies are the biggest cause of Maryland’s offensive woes. In Tuesday’s loss to Rutgers, the Terps’ stars struggled too in one of their poorest offensive showings of the year.