0-9 Profit longing to find range Senior averaging 11 points, but none from beyond arc

Morris leads all scorers

Terps notebook

November 27, 1998|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,SUN STAFF

BAYAMON, Puerto Rico -- Maryland has spent the first two weeks of the season passing up easy shots for easier ones. Starting today in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Shootout, at least one Terp will have to stop being so unselfish and knock down the occasional jump shot.

Laron Profit was voted a preseason all-star in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The senior wing forward got three steals in yesterday's romp over American University of Puerto Rico to become Maryland's No. 2 all-time in that category, but the more compelling statistic was his three-point percentage.

Profit missed all three of his long-range attempts yesterday. He's shooting 61.1 percent inside the arc, but he's 0-for-9 behind it. The Terps faced a very lame zone, and the three-year starter was unchallenged on the left wing when he tossed up a first-half air ball.

He's averaging 11.2 points, but the majority of Profit's production has come in transition. He suffered through a horrible shooting slump at the start of last season, when he dwelled on his mechanics to distraction, but doesn't equate that to this season's woes.

"Coming out this year, I was so concerned with getting everyone off and getting their confidence going," Profit said. "I kind of passed up some shots early. When I took away from my aggressiveness, that's when I started to lose the consistent jump shot that I thought I was hitting in the preseason and our scrimmages.

"The first couple of games, by focusing so much on getting everyone else the ball, I lost my ability to hit from the perimeter. I think as the season goes on, I'll find it."

While Profit struggles with his shot, fellow forward Terence Morris keeps on stroking. The Terps' leading scorer with a 17.4 average, Morris has made 63.3 percent (31 of 49) of his overall attempts. As a team, Maryland is shooting .526. Its five victims are a combined .302.

Perimeter shooting could be a key for the Terps today since semifinal opponent UCLA used a variety of zones in its win over San Francisco.

Blowout briefs

The 32 points were the fewest allowed by the Terps in two seasons, since a 67-31 defeat of UMBC in November 1996. Their average margin of victory is up to 41.8 points. Maryland was listed as the home team on the scoreboard, but it was the only game the Terps will play on an opponents' court until they go to Kentucky on Dec. 12. Freshman guard Juan Dixon has made an even 50 percent of his three-pointers, 10 of 20.

Pub Date: 11/27/98

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