Scouting Report: Maryland, Game 2

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(Note: For the scouting report from the first Maryland game, click here.)

Game 1 (January 16), Post-Game Reflections

Maryland simply couldn’t match up with Sean Singletary and UVa’s guards in Game 1.

Overall, Virginia outplayed Maryland from start to finish. This game was one of spurts and stretches. The Cavaliers’ spurts were longer and their bad stretches shorter. Most importantly, the Hoos were able to use their exceptional guard play to maximize their strengths by mixing their offense, and in so doing, minimize Maryland’s ability to capitalize defensively. Finally, Virginia controlled Maryland’s transition game by scoring and getting back defensively.

In Game #1 on January 16, Maryland’s and Virginia’s styles came together. As the game wore on, it appeared the Terps were learning a great deal about themselves, specifically with regard to how much they could affect what UVa did. And, it appeared they learned more and more about the quality of their opponent (especially their guards) as well as the inefficiency of its own strengths in stopping Virginia. Basically, Maryland was stuck in an identity crisis.

Thriving on transition baskets and multiple pressure defenses, the Terrapins discovered that in order to hang with Virginia (much less win) they would have to resort to tactics they did not normally use (i.e. halfcourt zone, 3-point shooting, etc.). A team that likes to play up-tempo and extend up the court (like Maryland) is going to have to use athleticism and speed to make an opponent uncomfortable. However, Maryland could not do this at UVa. The Terps realized that Virginia’s guards were faster, more athletic, and more skilled, and they loved playing at Maryland’s pace.