The Maryland Terrapins lost their second straight conference game to Miami Sunday night, in an ugly, low-scoring contest in Coral Gables. Dez Wells and Alex Len combined for an impressive 34 of Maryland's 47 points, but were overshadowed by the Terps' 14 turnovers and 31.6% shooting from the field.
We played hard last night, just didn't play well all the time, said Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon. Give Miami credit, their defense was good.
Despite missing Senior center Reggie Johnson due to injury, Miami got solid performances from Kenny Kadji, Trey McKinney Jones, and point guard Shane Larkin who had 10 points, 6 assists, and no turnovers in a 54-47 victory.
Larkin is really good. He's good defensively, smart, and doesn't turn the ball over. He really makes them go, Turgeon said of Miami's point guard.
On the other hand, the second-year coach has not been very pleased with the production of his point guards of late. Pe'Shon Howard and Seth Allen have combined for 10 turnovers and only 3 assists in the last two games.
Our point guard play hasn't been good enough, it's pretty obvious in the last couple games, Turgeon said. There are a lot of areas that haven't been good enough. We're addressing it and trying to get better.
Turgeon says the key to improving the point guard play will be to continue watching film, and just talking with them to try to keep their confidence up. He also says he has been giving sophomore Nick Faust some time at the point guard position in practice where he played some games last year for the Terps. Turgeon is keeping an open mind and says moving Faust is a viable option in the coming games.
Although pointing to other concerns including trouble at the 4-spot, shot selection, overall execution, and decision-making, Coach Turgeon took some positives away from Sunday's loss.
We rebounded pretty well, competed on the low against a good team, and just came up short. We couldn't put the ball in the basket and missed a lot of free throws, but I think it's a step in the right direction, he said
Maryland's confidence was high before Florida State snapped their 13-game winning streak last week in College Park. Now, with consecutive losses, Turgeon's troop will have to respond quickly as they host 14-ranked NC State Wednesday before traveling to Chapel Hill on Saturday.
We'll be fine. Kids can lose confidence between timeouts, and get it back between timeouts, said Turgeon.
Of course, let's not forget that it is only mid-January, and with a young team like Maryland, there are always some kinks to work out. Coach Turgeon certainly hasn't.
It's a long season, he said. There are eighteen league games and we're three in. We've got a lot of time to improve and get better.