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Advanced Preview: Maryland

(While the rest of the nation goes the “Pro Combat” style Maryland decided to take the road less traveled with “Sweatpant Jerseys.” 

Tomorrow night in Brooklyn, New York at the sparkling rusty new Barclays Center, Kentucky will tip off the 2012-13 campaign against Mark Turgeon’s Maryland Terrapins.  Calipari’s Wildcats who are fresh off the program’s eighth national title look to replicate the successes of last season despite losing seven different players to the NBA Draft and/or graduation.  While it would be ideal to play the likes of New Jersey Institute of Technology in the opening game, Kentucky will be forced to play a feisty Terrapin team that is looking to knock off a big name opponent.  Despite losing standout guard, Terrell Stoglin, to a transfer after disciplinary issues Maryland returns a handful of talented players in 7’1” Alex Len, 6’8” James Padgett, and 6’3” Pe’Shon Howard.  In addition to their returnees; Turgeon’s incoming freshman class was rated 18th overall by ESPN and was headlined by the #30 overall player, Shaquille Cleare, so the Terps may have more talent than their final 15-17 record last season would indicate.  The talent level is certainly building in College Park, but given the time of year it’s impossible to know how good a team actually is.  So in order to give some clarity on the issue, I went back and researched some of Turgeon’s most recent teams and sifted through historical strengths and weaknesses.


The general assumption through the Blue & White scrimmage and the two exhibition games is that opponents will try and exploit Ryan Harrow’s lack of physicality.  This strategy would appear to be effective, at least until Harrow is experienced in running Calipari’s system, but Turgeon’s teams have never ranked above 114th nationally in Turnover Percentage since 2003.  Barring drastic change in defensive philosophy this will allow Harrow (and whoever else runs the point) to calmly set up the offense and run the system to Calipari’s liking. Of course, a high turnover game is not out of the realm of possibility given the youth of the team, but Maryland’s defensive philosophy would suggest that to be unlikely.  But, this lack of turnovers created is not by accident, Turgeon’s defensive philosophy harps heavily on defensive rebounding.  In fact, since 2003, his squads have ranked top-70 nationally in defensive rebounding percentage 9 separate times.  This may prove to be problematic for the young Wildcats who only rebounded 34.7% of potential offensive boards against two less than stellar opponents.

A Turgeon coached offense, while rarely bad, has historically never been able to reach the “elite plateau” as he has never coached a top-25 team in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency.  Looking through his old teams it seems as though one link to the chain is always absent; whether it be effective shooting, ball handling, or offensive rebounding.  But, one area where his teams always shine at an elite level is getting to the free throw line.  The past four seasons his teams have been top-15 nationally in Free-Throw Rate which is something that could be incredibly flustering for Calipari’s fourth edition of Wildcats.  Turgeon runs the famed “Motion Offense” and his variation counts upon schematic mismatches which place defenses out of position, thus creating fouls when recovering.   This is obviously concerning because of Kentucky’s questionable depth on the bench.  Given that Maryland will attempt to draw contact on the offensive side from a thin Kentucky team that hasn’t had much time together, we’ll likely see a Maryland advantage in this category.  While Calipari almost exclusively runs man defense, it may benefit the team to drop in a zone, getting his Freshmen’s feet wet early and preventing silly fouls.


Friday’s match-up will likely not be a high scoring affair as Mark Turgeon’s offense is Tubby-esqe and John Calipari has slowed the tempo in recent years, so it may be difficult for Kentucky to cover the 13-16.5 point line set by various gambling agencies.  Even though Maryland has returned many key pieces and added super-Sophomore transfer from Xavier, Dez Wells, they will be thoroughly outclassed talent wise in tomorrow night’s game at the Barclays Center.  Even though the gap in talent is noticeable the Terrapins do stand a chance to win this game because of their innate ability to draw fouls and take opponent second chance shots away through effective defensive rebounding.

Article written by Jonathan Schuette

31 Comments for Advanced Preview: Maryland

  1. Rob
    8:05 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink


  2. Bulldawg
    8:20 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    what is the deal with all these basketball posts? I hope everyone is doing everything they can to get Petrino here NOW!!!! I want to see the announcing of his hire post more than anything else right now. It may be the last time KSR “gets” to report on the football team. lol

  3. I Say
    8:23 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    I hope you guys preview Maryland again in the next post too

  4. nassau65
    8:28 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Finally. Basketball, a real game. Been waitin for this since the first of April!
    2. sorry pal, i’m not with ya on Petrino. Trouble will follow him. We can do better.

  5. Bulldawg
    8:29 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    @3 yeah that makes since… a UK website reposting all things Maryland when the biggest football decision of my lifetime is waiting to be made. You are a smart guy. If you are thirsting for knowledge of Maryland so much, go to their website. Problem solved.

  6. Bulldawg
    8:31 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    @4 People said the same thing about Cal. Can’t judge a book by the cover. It is ok to disagree with me though, I ain’t mad atcha, got nuttin but love for ya, do your thang…

  7. Sources
    8:33 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Bleed Blue Kentucky reporting UK has no interest in hiring Petrino, per “several good sources”. Proceed with your “Fire Mitch” movement

  8. rainman
    8:34 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Didn’t notice anything about rebounding’
    kind of concerns me!
    Piss on Petrino, this is BASKETBALL season!

  9. Man, I’m not a big fan of all the ultra-modern crazy unis that Nike does, but seriously Under Armor? 70’s sweatpant gray???

  10. Bluerthanu
    8:36 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Can we get a super extended breakdown of the Maryland game? Football is where it’s at right now guys.

  11. BigBlueBallz
    8:36 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    “Experts” on both PTI and Around the Horn today agreed (with the exception of that Israel guy) that either Kentucky should NOT hire Petrino or that he will never be hireable again. Among other things, mentioned not being a good mentor for young men. So how is Rick Pitino then?

  12. rainman
    8:40 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    If you want FB, just scroll on down, there’s plenty!
    No need looking here!

  13. John
    8:41 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    We don’t want anymore of these meaningless basketball posts…

    We want #Petrino2UK news

  14. rainman
    8:43 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Auburn just hired him!
    Good friggen riddens!

  15. eastcoastcat
    9:00 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    2-“What is the deal with all these basketball posts?” really man, really?

  16. Bulldawg
    9:05 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    @14 what is riddens? Did you mean riddance? Moron much? After that post it is obvious that you are not the sharpest tool in the shed… that explains the Petrino hate. Don’t get me wrong, if Petrino goes somewhere else, I will hate him. It’s just that I will hate Mitch more for missing out!!!

  17. Bulldawg
    9:06 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    @15, that is known as sarcasim. really.

  18. dave
    9:18 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    17- you really think petrino would come to UK?
    you really think its a coincidence auburn leaked chizik’s firing within 24 hrs of petrino’s comments?
    and you really dont think tennessee will fire dooley & look at petrino if still available?

  19. Papa D Nuts
    9:26 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    #2). LOL

  20. Bulldawg
    9:34 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    @18, UK has no shot at Petrino. I mean why would he come to UK? It’s not like Joe B. Hall is his Father-in-law. It’s not like he already lives in Kentucky. It’s not like his Dad told reporters that he is very interested in UK. No, I don’t see any reason whatsoever to think Petrino might consider Kentucky.

    I did hear that Rex Ryan has interest in the job and has many ties to UK. He hates the NFL and wants to coach in the SEC…

  21. GGG
    9:41 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Honest question 20, what’s his many ties? I didn’t know this

  22. dave
    9:41 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    20- joe b hall isnt his father-in-law. and petrino has made it abundantly clear how much he UK while at UofL
    good effort

  23. dave
    9:42 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    how much he hates* UK while at UofL

  24. Obama is not my president
    9:45 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Thank the gods for basketball season!

  25. Bulldawg
    10:00 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    @21 I was being sarcastic about Rex Ryan because that is Matt’s pick for next coach… To think UK could not get Petrino, but they could get Rex Ryan is funny to me…

  26. Bulldawg
    10:01 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    @23 who wouldn’t hate UK while at U of L??

  27. GGG
    10:02 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    which makes me look like a d-bag

  28. Bulldawg
    10:08 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. Matt Jones has said Rex Ryan has ties to UK, I just don’t remember what they are…sorry.

  29. rainman
    11:26 pm November 8, 2012 Permalink

    Bulldawg, suck it, I got you’re moron right here!

  30. willie
    1:05 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    Another bad and tasteless Jonathan Schuette article. Calling the Barclay Center rusty because it got flooded in a hurricane? Its sad this jackass gets to post horrible articles on this site.

  31. Don
    10:22 am November 9, 2012 Permalink

    I would like to see the defensive coordinator of Alabama. Great recruiter and a driven coach get the Kentucky football coach opening.