With a chance to claim a big win at Florida State, the Terps led for nearly the entire game but fell 1.1 seconds short of victory when Michael Snaer’s game-winning three dropped through the net. Here’s our analysis of their individual performances.
Dez Wells carried the Terps in the second half, but also struggled with turnovers and made a poor decision on FSU's game-winning play. How did he grade out?
Dezmine Wells: Wells was a one-man show for much of the second-half, hitting clutch late three-pointers and high-difficulty jumpers to keep Maryland in the lead. But it was an uneven performance for Wells, who committed four unforced turnovers in the first half, costing the team a chance to build a lead.
His fateful mistake, though, came when he collapsed into the paint and left Snaer open for the decisive jumper when two teammates were already defending the driver. It was youthful and aggressive mistake, but one that cost the Terps dearly. This grade may seem harsh considering his huge second-half offensive performance, but his six turnovers and that defensive lapse were huge as well.
Alex Len: Len was a non-factor for most of the game because of foul trouble, and when he was in, he had lots of trouble getting low-post position against FSU’s big men. He finished with just four points and five rebounds. The Terps could’ve won without him, but would’ve likely won had he made more of an impact. Bottom line: in a big game, Maryland needed more out of its 7-1 projected lottery pick.
Nick Faust: Faust was quiet in the first half, but played fairly well in the second. He made up for a bad shot on one possession – one that led to an FSU fast break -- by converting a four-point play on the next. On the next trip down the floor, he made a nice feed to Charles Mitchell for a layup.
And a few minutes later he slashed for a layup of his own. He did miss three of four free throws, including a pair of big ones with five minutes left, and his alley-oop pass to Alex Len in the final minute sailed a few inches behind Len, but it was a high-difficulty play.
Seth Allen: Allen’s mid-season shooting slump continued, as he went one for six and lost minutes to Logan Aronhalt in the second half. His one basket came on an impressive crossover, quick drive and right-handed finish, but he was otherwise quiet and continued to struggle with his shot.
Shaquille Cleare: Cleare, like Allen, played limited minutes in the second half. He only finished with three points and five rebounds, but he played excellent team defense.
On a night when Maryland was burned repeatedly on screen-and-rolls, Cleare repeatedly hedged on the ballhandler and then quickly chased down his man. It'll be a while before Cleare regularly posts double-digit point totals, but aside from being foul-prone he's far and away the most reliable defender among Maryland's first-year players.
Charles Mitchell: Mitchell can be difficult to grade because he’s up and down from one play to the next – usually from offense to defense. He gave FSU’s bigs fits with his quickness in the paint, making four of five shots and finishing with 10 points in 14 minutes; he would’ve played more had he not picked up two fouls in the first eight minutes.
On defense, he lost the cutter on a couple of screen-and-rolls and left Kiel Turpin open for a big baseline jumper late in the game. Mitchell was excellent offensively, but the foul trouble and defensive lapses kept him from having a breakout.
Logan Aronhalt: Aronhalt’s shooting slump continued in the first half, when he missed all three of his shots. But he awoke in the second half, hitting a couple of big threes and a nice pull-up after recognizing FSU’s guards were over-playing him for the three. Without a penetrating point guard to get him open looks, it’s probably unfair to expect big production out of Aronhalt, but you’d still like to see him hit more of his three-point attempts.
Jake Layman: Layman was solid, scoring eight points on 3-for-4 shooting and grabbing four rebounds. He had a nice slashing drive, which is something he’s probably capable of doing more often. He also got lost repeatedly on screens, several times failing to pick up his teammate’s man, which led to a few easy FSU buckets.
James Padgett: Padgett was effective in the first half, connecting on a nice lefty hook shot shortly after checking in and then hustling down the rebound on a Layman miss for a putback. When he checked into the game later in the half, he got on the board quickly again by cutting to the basket, drawing a foul and knocking down both free throws.
He didn’t fare as well in the second half. He allowed himself to be trapped and turned the ball over, leading to two FSU free throws. He also whiffed on his man on a screen for two more Seminoles points. But it wasn’t a bad overall performance for Padgett, whose six points were the most he’s scored since ACC play started.