By the numbers: Stats show how the Terps have gotten this far

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Despite back-to-back road losses to Ohio State and Penn State that ended the season with a thud, the Maryland men’s basketball team will be one of the more dangerous in the Big Ten Tournament that starts Thursday and is poised for a mid-level seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The Terps, who finished 20-11 (11-9 in Big Ten), succeeded largely thanks to their stout defense. They held opponents to 63.2 points per game, the 27th-best mark in D-1 basketball and fourth-best in the conference. That’s without many steals or blocks, averaging only 5.2 and 3.7, respectively. Instead, Maryland utilized a versatile rotation that forced misses, evidenced in their 42.4 opponent field goal percentage.

Their offense, conversely, was considerably less fluid. The Terps were not known for long-range shooting, connecting on only 32.7% of their three-pointers thanks to a hot-shooting finish to the season to ring in with the ninth-highest percentage in the Big Ten.

Maryland’s starting unit, comprising guards Jahmir Young and Don Carey, guard/swingman Hakim Hart, forward Donta Scott and forward/center Julian Reese, started 28 of 31 games together. Each one averaged at least 24 minutes per game, and Young, Hart and Scott—the three to start every game—averaged at least 31 minutes.

When the offense went dry and sets fizzled out, the Terps frequently turned to Young. The senior guard, formerly of Charlotte University, was the focal point of the offense, as he put up 16.3 points per game to lead the squad by a considerable margin.


Young, a gifted finisher at only 6-foot-1, carried the team on his back when it needed a bucket and stepped up his production in the clutch. No matter the defender, he could usually get to the hoop. He struggled early with outside scoring, but he shot an unconscious 44.7% from deep on almost four attempts a game in his last 12 outings, raising his season three-point percentage to 32.5%.

His 3.2 assists per outing led the team, which might say more about the unit than Young. Maryland averaged only 11.4 assists, 311th in D-1 and dead last in the Big Ten.

The rest of the team was perhaps too reliant on Young; the ball was in his hands 29.7% of the time he was on the court, according to his usage rate. It was here where Hart established his importance in the lineup. 

Hart, a fellow senior and Maryland veteran, was known as something of a defensive specialist entering this season, but fully realized a new identity as a secondary creator. His consistent 33.3% from three and 61% percentage from within the arc set his field goal percentage at 49% on eight shots a game, the most he’d ever taken in a season en route to averaging 11.5 points. As defenses were forced to respect him more as a scorer, his passing improved with increased responsibility running the pick and roll.

Hart and Young produced the majority of Maryland’s pretty passes over the season, which often took the forms of no-look dimes and alley-oop set-ups. Together they averaged 5.7 assists. . Their aggressive play led to a combined 238 free throw attempts, and they both drained more than 80%.


Scott, Maryland’s burly forward, joined Hart as one of the team’s elite defenders in man coverage. The senior added muscle in the off-season in expectation of an increased role with a remodeled team, and played like the lead option at the start of the season. He averaged 15.9 points on 55.8% shooting through the first seven matchups, peaking with a standout performance at the Basketball Hall of Fame Tournament, where he scored 24.5 points over both games to secure Tournament MVP. 

He tossed up his first clunker in Maryland’s Big Ten season debut against Illinois on Dec. 2, canning just 5 of 13 shots for 12 in-efficient points while Young played perhaps the game of his season and hit the game-sealing shot over the Fighting Illini. It was all downhill from there for Scott, who never regained his shot or touch around the rim. In the 20 conference games that followed, he averaged 10 points on 35.7% from the field and 27.6% from three. 

Julian Reese, who started only one game last year as a freshman behind Qudus Wahab, made a name for himself as Maryland’s center, holding his own against the conference’s big men. He averaged 11.4 points, connected on 63.8% of his shots and roped in 7.3 rebounds per game to lead the team.

He, too, raised his play in meaningful games, memorably scoring 19 against one of college basketball’s best, Zack Edey of Purdue. Reese also blocked 1.5 shots per game, the only Terp with more than one on average.

His Achilles’ heel, though, was anything that had to do with fouls. Not only did he stack up 3.2 personal fouls a game, putting him constantly in foul trouble late in games, but he also struggled to shoot free throws, with his season percentage settling down at 53.5%.

Carey rounded out the starters, but didn’t shoot the ball nearly as well as he had over his long career. He nailed 39.2% on 4.4 threes a night over his first four collegiate years but didn’t come close to meeting that threshold this year, putting up a paltry 32.2%. The shooting was where the majority of Carey’s value lay, given that he took three times as many three-pointers as two-pointers.

His long-range struggles opened the door for Ian Martinez to up his production from the bench. He’d already acted as Maryland’s sixth man in the season prior as a sophomore and justified his minutes with dogged perimeter defense to go along with knocking down 43.1% of his threes. 

While Martinez was the only non-starting guard to play meaningful minutes, Patrick Emilien served as the only reserve forward in Willard’s rotation for big games. Another well-traveled senior, Emilien’s value lay in smart defense and wise decision-making. He gave up some size at 6-6, but performed admirably as a small-ball center when Reese or Scott had to sit.

Unlike Martinez, Emilien was very strategic in the shots he took. Somehow, he racked up a free throw attempt rate of .955, meaning he drew free throws on 95.5% of the shots he took. The reserve weapons offer value on both sides that allow them to seamlessly play off the starters.