Terps Set to Face Niagara in NIT
March 18, 2013
Maryland opens play in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament when it takes on Niagara in Comcast Center Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Terrapins are returning to postseason play for the first time since 2010, when they advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Tickets for the first round are available for $25 to the general public. Students can reserve a free ticket through their online account at www.tickets.umd.edu. Guest tickets will be available for $4. Click here to purchase tickets.
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).
Dez Wells led Maryland to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament last weekend, averaging 22.0 points per game en route to first team All-Tournament honors. The sophomore had a career-high 30 points on 9-of-13 shooting in the 83-74 quarterfinal win over No. 2 Duke, making all 10 of his free throw attempts while adding six rebounds and three assists. Over the past seven games, Wells is averaging 19.1 points per game on 55.6 percent shooting.
Alex Len and Nick Faust also had solid tournaments, with Len averaging 13.7 points per game and Faust averaging 12.3 points per game. Len had his second career 20-point game in the semifinal against North Carolina when he finished with 20 on 5-of-7 shooting and 10-of-12 free throws. Faust has come on strong towards the end of the season, having averaged 13.1 points per game over the last eight games.
Seven of the 10 players in Maryland's regular rotation are underclassmen and 81 percent of Maryland's scoring (58 of 71.2 points per game) is coming from underclassmen. Maryland's top four scorers are underclassmen in sophomores Dez Wells (13.1 ppg), Alex Len (12.0 ppg) and Nick Faust (9.2 ppg) and freshman Seth Allen (7.4 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, 129 of 170 starts (76%) 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 (757), James Padgett (650), Faust (599) and Len (539).
Hitting the Mark
Maryland has assisted on 57 percent (505 of 887) of its field goals this season. The Terps have recorded double-digit assists in 31 of 34 games (exceptions are at Miami, at North Carolina and vs. North Carolina), and rank t-2nd in the ACC with 14.9 per game. Maryland is 19-4 when recording at least 14 assists.
On average, Maryland has recorded 16.9 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 .463, behind just NC State (.494) and Duke (.476). That marks also ranks 38th nationally. The Terps have shot above 40 percent in 13 of the past 15 games. Maryland has shot better than 50 percent 12 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 13th nationally in field goal percentage defense at .384. The Terps have held 18 of the last 30 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 28 of 34 games.
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