March 25, 2013
Maryland will play in the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament for the third time in history and first time since 2005 when it takes on Alabama in Tuscaloosa Tuesday night. The Terrapins advanced to the quarters with wins over Niagara and Denver last week in College Park.
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In its two previous quarterfinal appearances Maryland is 2-0, beating Syracuse 71-65 in 1972 and topping TCU 85-73 in 2005. The Terps are seeking their third trip to New York for the semifinals and finals, having won the title in 1972 and lost in the semis in 2005.
|Maryland Terrapins: 24-12, 8-10 ACC|
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Since opening postseason play in the ACC Tournament, Maryland has played some of its best basketball, winning four out of the last five behind the play of Dez Wells and Nick Faust. Wells is averaging 19.4 points per game on .586 (34-58) shooting, while Faust is averaging 12.8 points per game. As a team, Maryland is shooting .476 from the field, .386 from 3-point range and .797 from the free throw line.
Over the past 10 games, Faust is shooting .500 (43-86) from the field, .442 (19-43) from 3-point range and averaging 13.2 points per game. He has scored in double figures in seven straight games. Wells, meanwhile, is averaging 18.3 points per game over the last nine and shooting .564 (61-110) from the field in that span.
In both its first- and second-round wins, Maryland dominated the second half en route to double-digit wins. The Terrapins were tied at 35 with Niagara before outscoring the Purple Eagles 51-35 in the final 20 minutes. Against Denver, Maryland trailed 30-27 at halftime, but used a 23-4 run over the game's final nine minutes to win 62-52.
The Terps will be meeting Alabama just the fifth time in history. Maryland leads the series 3-1, though the Crimson Tide won the last meeting, 62-42 in the 2011 Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Back to Alabama: Head coach Mark Turgeon got his start as a head coach in the state of Alabama. Turgeon coached Jacksonville State for two seasons (1998-99, 1999-2000), going 17-11 in his second season there before taking the head job at Wichita State.
The Terps are appearing in the NIT for the eighth time in school history and hold a 13-6 record in the tournament. Maryland owns one NIT title, in 1972, when they defeated Niagara in the championship game 100-69.
The NIT appearance marks the ninth time in the last 11 years that head coach Mark Turgeon has led his team to the postseason. Turgeon led Wichita State to the NIT in 2003, 2004 and 2005, and the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2006. He then led Texas A&M to the NCAA second round all four of his years in College Station (2008-11).
Mark Turgeon's current winning percentage of .603 (41-27) is the best mark by a Maryland coach in his first two seasons. Bud Millikan had a .592 winning percentage and Gary Williams had a .574 mark.
Dez Wells scored 30 points against Duke in the ACC Tournament semifinals, the most points by a Terp this season. He is the first Terp to score 30 in a game since Terrell Stoglin had 33 at Miami in two overtimes on 2/1/2012.
Maryland has reached the 20-win plateau for the first time since 2009-10, when it went 24-9 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Mark Turgeon's teams have now won at least 20 games in five of the last six seasons and eight of the last 10. The exceptions are last season, Turgeon's first at Maryland, and 2006-07, his last at Wichita State. The Terps are one of six ACC teams to reach the 20-win mark; Miami, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and NC State also have at least 20 wins.
Logan Aronhalt connected on seven 3-pointers at Boston College on 2/19. That's the most by a Terp since Mike Jones hit a Comcast Center record nine on Dec. 28, 2006, vs. Missouri-Kansas City.
Maryland did not beat a ranked opponent in either of the last two seasons. The Terps have three wins over a ranked team this year: No. 14/15 NC State, No. 2/1 Duke (Feb. 16), and No. 2/2 Duke (March 15).
The Terps are 22-2 this season when they have the lead with 5:00 left in the game, and 1-0 when tied with 5:00 left. The losses came at Florida State (1/30) and at Virgina in overtime (3/10).
The 13-game winning streak Maryland went on earlier this season is tied for the second longest in school history, trailing just the 14-game streak the Terps went on in 1931-32. Maryland also went on a 13-game win streak in 2001-02, the year they went on to win the national title.
Logan Aronhalt is averaging one 3-point field goal made for every 8.4 minutes on the floor. By comparison, the ACC leader in 3PT FGs made, Scott Wood of NC State, makes one 3-pointer every 11.4 minutes on the floor.
At least eight players have scored in 32 of Maryland's 36 games this year. The exceptions are vs. George Mason, at Miami, at North Carolina and vs. North Carolina, when just seven players scored.
The Terps are 18-3 when making as many or more free throws than the opponent, and 6-9 when making fewer free throws.
When Seth Allen, Jake Layman and Shaquille Cleare drew starts against UMES, it marked the first time Maryland started three true freshmen since Dec. 28, 1993, when Keith Booth, Matt Kovarik and Joe Smith did vs. Hofstra. The Terps have started three freshmen in a game four times this season.
Seven of the 10 players in Maryland's regular rotation are underclassmen and 81 percent of Maryland's scoring (58.1 of 71.4 points per game) is coming from underclassmen. Maryland's top four scorers are underclassmen in sophomores Dez Wells (13.2 ppg), Alex Len (11.7 ppg) and Nick Faust (9.5 ppg) and freshman Seth Allen (7.8 ppg).
Just twice in the past 30 years has a larger percentage of Maryland's scoring come from underclassmen. In 2003-04, 82 percent came from underclassmen, and in 1993-94, 97 percent did.
Additionally, 137 of 180 starts (76.1%) this season have gone to underclassmen. That is the second-highest percentage in the past 30 years, behind only 1993-94 when every start went to underclassmen.
The Terps have just one 1,000-point scorer on the roster this season in graduate student Logan Aronhalt. Aronhalt scored 1,100 points at Albany before transferring to Maryland prior to this season. Maryland's next top scorers are Wells (788), James Padgett (652), Faust (626) and Len (552).
Hitting the Mark
Maryland has assisted on 56 percent (528 of 940) of its field goals this season. The Terps have recorded double-digit assists in 32 of 36 games (exceptions are at Miami, at North Carolina, vs. North Carolina and vs. Denver), and rank t-2nd in the ACC with 14.9 per game. Maryland is 20-4 when recording at least 14 assists.
On average, Maryland has recorded 16.5 assists per game in wins, while in its losses it has averaged just 11.1.
Maryland ranks third in the ACC in field goal percentage at .465, behind just NC State (.494) and Duke (.476). That marks also ranks 35th nationally. The Terps have shot above 40 percent in 15 of the past 17 games. Maryland has shot better than 50 percent 13 times this season.
Against Wake Forest (2/2), Maryland recorded its fifth-best field goal percentage in program history at .673. The four single-game marks better than that are: .833 (15-18) vs. South Carolina, 1/9/71; .739 (34-46) vs. Wake Forest, 1/28/86; .732 (30-41) vs. NC State, 12/20/80; and .704 (50-71) vs. Miami (OH), 12/28/79.
Field Goal Percentage Defense
Maryland leads the ACC and ranks 10th nationally in field goal percentage defense at .383. The Terps have held 19 of the last 32 opponents under 40 percent shooting, including 11 of 18 ACC (regular season) opponents.
Maryland's bench has been an asset all season, as the Terps' non-starters have outscored the opponents non-starters in 30 of 36 games. Most recently, the Terps had their fourth-highest bench output of the season with 42 against Niagara and outscored Denver 22-3.
On the year, Maryland's bench has a 912-439 (25.1 to 12.3 per game) advantage over the opponent.
All 10 players in Maryland's regular rotation are averaging double-figure minutes, and no player is averaging more than 29 minutes per game (Dez Wells is first at 28.4).
Logan Aronhalt has been a consistent contributor as a long-range specialist. He is 13 3-point field goals made shy of qualifying for the ACC lead, but his .440 mark from beyond the arc would rank second in the league. He has made at least one 3-pointer in 28 of 36 games this season. Of his 71 field goals made this season, 59 are 3-pointers.
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