After covering three North Carolina wins over Maryland this season, I’m ready to move on. I’ve seen the movie now, and I know how it ends.
Give Maryland credit for believing they could win. That’s the arrogance of youth. And I mean that in a positive way.
“We had a lot of confidence, especially when the game was close,” said Terrell Stoglin, who scored 30 points and shot better than 50 percent for the second straight day. “We thought we was going to make another run and take the lead.”
But Maryland’s initial optimism meant that the Terps were awfully disappointed when the 85-69 contest was over.
Saddest of all were the frontcourt guys, of whom Turgeon said: “(Ashton) Pankey is the only one who played. Alex (Len) played not very well. James (Padgett) out of it all day. We couldn’t get those two guys to run back on defense. That’s the key to the game.”
I noted in my updated game story that Padgett wore a hangdog look in the library-quiet locker room.
“I just think I couldn’t make any shots, and it was frustrating,” Padgett said “I didn’t do what I was supposed to do out there and I think I let my team down. North Carolina did a great job defending rebounding and running the court, so it was pretty tough.”
It’s funny because I thought Maryland actually got into the lane effectively. The first possession of each half ended with Len missing a layup.
Nick Faust in particular tried – repeatedly – to drive to the hoop. Turgeon said Faust may have been a bit overzealous, but at least the freshman is brimming with confidence.
For you Terps fans, I’ll end with a forward-looking thought from Faust.
“We have a great class coming in, we’re going to be a great team next year.”
There. Feel better?