Maryland Hosts Abilene Christian in Home Opener

Maryland Athletics
Print RSS

Game Info

• Maryland hosts Abilene Christian in its 2013-14 home opener Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. in Comcast Center on the Raycom Sports Network. It is the first meeting in history between the sides, as Abilene Christian begins its first season in Division I play.

• The game can be seen live on the Raycom Sports Network, called by Wes Durham and Mike Gminski. Fans can also listen to Johnny Holliday and Chris Knoche live on the Terrapin Sports Radio Network.


• Maryland has won 35 consecutive home openers dating back to 1976 when it lost to Notre Dame, 80-79, in overtime. The Terps are 75-17 (.815) all-time in home openers. Maryland defeated Morehead State in its home opener last season, 67-45, led by 12 points from Nick Faust.

• The Terps lost a heartbreaker to No. 19 UConn Friday night at Barclays Center, 78-77. Once trailing by 17 points in the second half, Maryland mounted a furious comeback that led to a game-winning bid by Dez Wells. Wells’ shot rimmed out with three seconds remaining, however, as the Huskies sealed the win.

• Maryland’s second half comeback was prompted by a Shabazz Napier technical foul with 11:43 to play. The Terps responded to the tech by posting an 11-0 run that included nine points (two 3-pointers) by sophomore Jake Layman. Layman’s nine points came in a span of 2:08.

Nick Faust led the Terrapins with 17 points against UConn, while Evan Smotrycz posted 13 points and nine rebounds in his Maryland debut. The Terps had five scorers in double-figures (Faust-17, Smotrycz-13, Wells-13, Layman-13, Mitchell-12).

• Point guard Seth Allen sustained a fracture in his left foot during practice on October 29 and is expected to miss 10 weeks. Dez Wells started as Maryland’s point guard against UConn Friday.

On Home Openers

    Maryland has won 35 consecutive home openers, last falling in a home opener on November 27, 1976 to Notre Dame, 80-79, in overtime. Maryland is 75-17 (.815) all-time in home openers in College Park.

    The Terps defeated Morehead State, 67-45, in last year’s home opener at Comcast Center. Maryland had control from the outset with a 35-19 halftime advantage, and was led by 12 points from Nick Faust and nine rebounds from Charles Mitchell.

    Head coach Mark Turgeon is 15-0 all-time in home openers.

Scouting Abilene Christian

    Abilene Christian fell in its season-opener at Duquesne, 94-75, Friday, November 11, and most recently lost to St. Bonaventure on Monday, 75-47. Last Friday’s game against Duquesne was the Wildcats’ first contest as an NCAA Division I affiliate. The newest member of the Southland Conference, the Wildcats open the season with a tough slate that includes 10 consecutive road games.

    Abilene is led by Harrison Hawkins, who is averaging 14 points and three rebounds. Hawkins’ teammate, Austin Cooke, is averaging nine rebounds and 8.5 points through two games.

    Sophomore Parker Wentz (8.3 ppg) is the Wildcats only returning player from a season ago, as the squad added 12 new faces, including eight junior college transfers.

Last Time Out

    Maryland showed incredible resiliency in its season-opener against No. 19 Connecticut Friday at Barclays Center, climbing back from a 17-point second half deficit to earn an opportunity for a game-winning shot in the waning seconds. With six seconds remaining on the clock, Evan Smotrycz inbounded the ball to Dez Wells at the elbow, but the junior’s game-winning bid rimmed out as UConn held on for the 78-77 victory.

    Junior Nick Faust had a team-high 17 points, including a critical string of consecutive baskets toward the end of the game, while Wells finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Smotrycz had 13 points and nine rebounds in his Terrapin debut, sparking Maryland with a 4-for-4 shooting start.

    Varun Ram appeared in his first contest in a Maryland uniform, while freshmen Roddy Peters (18 mins., 5 pts.) and Damonte Dodd made their collegiate debuts.

Layman Sparks Second Half Run

    The Terps’ resiliency was on full display against UConn Friday as their dramatic comeback bid fell one bucket short. From the  point when UConn took a 67-50 lead with 11:52 remaining, Maryland responded to a Shabazz Napier technical foul by outscoring the Huskies, 27-11, for the remainder of the game.

    The run was sparked by sophomore Jake Layman, who had posted only four points prior. Layman hit one-of-two free throws from the techincal foul, and then sank a 3-pointer on the same possession. After Roddy Peters finished a lay-up, Layman made two more free throws and added a second 3-pointer to cap an 11-0 Maryland run. Layman’s nine points in the run came in a span of 2:08.

Quick Hitters

• Guard Seth Allen broke his left foot in practice on October 29 and is expected to miss 10 weeks. Dez Wells started at point guard in the exhibition against Catholic.

• Maryland won 25 games in a season for the ninth time in school history last year. The Terps also won 25 or more in 1971-72 (27), 1984-85 (25), 1994-95 (26), 1998-99 (28), 1999-2000 (25), 2000-01 (25), 2001-02 (32) and 2006-07 (25). Mark Turgeon is the third Maryland coach to achieve the feat, joining Lefty Driesell and Gary Williams.

• Turgeon’s winning percentage of .600 (42-28) through his first two seasons is the best mark by a Maryland coach in program history. Bud Millikan had a .592 winning percentage, Gary Williams had a .574 mark and Lefty Driesell garnered a .519 percentage.

• The Terps appeared in the NIT for the eighth time in school history last year, and hold a 14-7 record in the tournament.

• The NIT appearance marked 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).

• Head coach Mark Turgeon’s teams have won at least 20 games in five of the last six seasons and eight of the last 10.

• Maryland set a single-season record for games played (38) last season. The previous record was 37 in 1984-85.

• Maryland did not beat a ranked opponent in either of the two seasons prior to last year. The Terps had three wins over a ranked team last year: No. 14/15 NC State (Jan. 16), No. 2/1 Duke (Feb. 16), and No. 2/2 Duke (March 15).

• The 13-game winning streak Maryland went on last season was tied for the second longest in school history, trailing just the 14-game streak the Terps went on in 1931-32.

Head Coach Mark Turgeon

• Turgeon led his teams to at least 20 wins in eight of the last 10 seasons.

• His teams have advanced to postseason play nine times in the last 11 years, including NCAA berths in five of the last eight seasons. His record in the last nine years is 226-112 (.675).

• As a player, assistant coach and head coach, Turgeon has compiled a 26-13 NCAA Tournament record (8-4 as a player, 13-4 as an assistant, 5-5 as a head coach).

• In 14 NCAA Tournament appearances as a player, assistant coach and head coach, Turgeon has lost an NCAA opener only twice (Oregon in 1995 under Coach Jerry Green, and 2011 as the head coach at Texas A&M - 57-50 loss vs. Florida State).

Lengthy Lineup

    The Terps’ length could cause formidable matchup problems for opponents this season, as its starting lineup against UConn on Friday averaged 6’7.5”. The starting lineup featured forwards Shaquille Cleare (6’9”), Evan Smotrycz (6’9”) and Jake Layman (6’8”), and guards Nick Faust (6’6”) and Dez Wells (6’5”).

    Featuring tall players is nothing new to Maryland, however, as the Terps trotted out a lineup averaging 6’8” three times last season (Wells, Faust, Layman, Cleare, Len). That combination of players was just 1-2 in three games - defeating Clemson (2/23) and falling to then-No. 1 Duke (1/26) and Georgia Tech (2/27).

Milestones, Streaks, etc.

Dez Wells has scored at least nine points in 12 consecutive games dating back to last season.

• Head coach Mark Turgeon needs just eight more victories to reach 300 for his coaching career.

• Maryland’s last victory over a ranked team was an 83-74 win over then-No.2 Duke on 3/15/2012 in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament in Greensboro Coliseum.

• The Terps’ last road win over a ranked team was an 82-80 win at then-No. 1 North Carolina on 1/19/2008.

• Maryland’s last losing season came in 1992-93, the last year of devastating NCAA sanctions levied against previous staffs at Maryland.

• Each school in the ACC has had a losing season since the Terps fell below .500 21               seasons ago. In fact, nine of the 11 ACC opponents have suffered through a losing season          since the Terps won the NCAA title in 2002, with Duke and UNC the exceptions.

Maryland Debuts

    A number of players made their Maryland debuts Friday night against UConn. Transfers Evan Smotrycz (13 pts, 9 rebs) and Varun Ram (2 mins.) saw their first action of the season after sitting out the entire 2012-13 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Smotrycz came from the University of Michigan, while Ram transferred from Trinity College.

    A pair of freshmen also made their collegiate debuts for Maryland as Roddy Peters and Damonte Dodd subbed in from the bench. Peters tallied five points in 18 minutes of action, and will be looked upon to make significant contributions in the wake of Seth Allen’s injury.

Summer Tour: The Bahamas

    Maryland traveled to the Bahamas for its Summer Tour this past August, earning three victories in three days against Bahamas All-Stars, Commonwealth Giants and Grand Bahamas All-Stars.

    Sophomore Jake Layman starred on the trip for the Terps, averaging 21.3 points over the course of the three contests, including a pair of 25-point performances.

    Junior Dez Wells opened the trip with 22 points, nine rebounds and a number of electrifying dunks in the Terps’ 92-84 victory over the Bahamas All-Stars. Sophomore Seth Allen led the way in the second game, notching 26 points and 10 assists in a 97-90 win over the Commonwealth Giants. Layman and Nick Faust closed the trip with 25 and 20 points, respectively, in the Terps’ 11-point win over the Grand Bahamas All-Stars.

    The trip was particularly significant for sophomore Shaquille Cleare, a native of Andros, Bahamas. Although Cleare was unable to play due to injury, his family and friends were in attendance at the games to support the Terps. The sophomore also enjoyed showing his teammates and coaches around the Bahamian mainline.

Experience is Evident

    Head coach Mark Turgeon returns his most experienced team in three years as coach at Maryland, including 12 letterwinners from a season ago. Among the returners is Dez Wells, Nick Faust, Jake Layman and Shaquille Cleare, who combined for 94 starts a season ago. Additionally, Evan Smotrycz started 42 games during his two seasons at Michigan.

    Despite the experience, it must be noted that none of Maryland’s rotational players are seniors which bodes well for the future. Former walk-on John Auslander is the lone senior on the squad.

Tough Schedule

With the addition of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame to the ACC this season, Maryland will play a highly formidable schedule in 2013. Including last week’s game with No. 18 Connecticut to open the season, the Terps are scheduled to face seven ranked teams in the Associated Press Preseason Top-25.

For the first time in the history of its existence in the ACC, Maryland will not play Duke, North Carolina or North Carolina State at home. In fact, this marks the first year Maryland will not play Duke at home since 1955.

The 18-game conference slate features four home-and-home dates for Maryland: Pittsburgh, Florida State, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

Fresh Faces

    Head coach Mark Turgeon and his staff signed its second consecutive consensus top-20 recruiting class this season with the addition of local products Damonte Dodd (Centreville, Md.) and Roddy Peters (District Heights, Md.).

    Maryland has had a player recognized on the ACC All-Freshman Team three out of the last four seasons, and hopes to continue the trend this season with Peters and Dodd. Prior to Nick Faust in 2012, Terrell Stoglin was honored in 2011 and Jordan Williams was honored in 2010.

    Turgeon on Peters: “He has excellent court vision, a great feel for the game and his length at his position is a great asset. He’s an unselfish basketball player that is all about winning.”

    Turgeon on Dodd: “Damonte will be fun to coach and he really has big upside. He runs, rebounds, and blocks shots, and his best years on the basketball court are ahead of him.”

Home Sweet Home

Maryland has been a dominant home team over the years:

• The Terps are 865-298 (.744) all-time at home dating back to 1923-24.

• Maryland is 159-36 (.815) all-time at Comcast Center.

• Maryland is 213-41 (.839) at home the last 12 seasons (since 1998-99).

• Maryland is 76-17 (.817) in home-openers in College Park all-time, including a 36-game winning streak (last loss on 11/27/76 to Notre Dame, 80-79, OT). The Terps did not play a home game in 1918-19.

Fear the Turtle!

Maryland is one of the most consistent winning programs in the country following more than a decade of excellence:

• The Terps have averaged 22.41 wins per season the last 17 years, including eight consecutive 20-win seasons from 1996-2004.

• Maryland has 18 postseason appearances in the last 20 years, including 11 consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament from 1993-2004.

• The Terrapins have won at least two postseason games (ACC, NCAA, NIT) in 10 of the last 15 seasons.

• The Terps have advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen seven times in the last 19 years.

• Maryland made consecutive trips to the NCAA Final Four in 2001 and 2002 .

• The Terps captured the 2002 NCAA National Championship.

• The Terps captured the 2004 ACC Tournament Championship.

• Maryland shared the 2010 ACC Regular-Season Title with eventual national-champion Duke.

Working Overtime

• Maryland is 48-51 all-time in overtime games. Maryland was 0-1 last season in extra sessions, falling to Virginia, 61-58, at Comcast Center on March 10, 2013.

• Maryland has played at least one overtime game in 18 of the last 21 seasons. The Terps did not go overtime in 2010-11, marking the first time in eight seasons they finished business in regulation for the entire.

• Maryland’s 89-74 OT win over Vermont (11/21/08) marked the largest winning margin in an overtime game for the Terps, who outscored the Catamounts 17-2, including the first 17 points of the extra session.

• Maryland is 25-18 in overtime games played at home, including a 6-1 mark at Comcast Center. The last overtime game at Comcast was on March 4, 2012, when Maryland lost to Virginia, 75-72.