Home cooking for Jahmir Young leaves Terps in solid positioning heading into February

Since being throttled against UCLA in December, the 15-7 Maryland Terrapins have won seven-straight home games after defeating the Indiana Hoosiers on Tuesday night, 66-55. The victory maintained Maryland’s perfect record in conference play at Xfinity Center this season.

Maryland’s defensive efforts were vital in its victory against Indiana. The Terps forced a whopping 12 turnovers, while finishing the night with six steals and five blocks. Indiana’s point leaders, Trayce Jackson-Davis (19.5 ppg) and Jalen Hood-Schifino, (12.3 ppg) were limited to 18 and three points, respectively.

“I definitely tried to take on that challenge, with [Jackson-Davis] being so highly touted in this conference and in the country,” Julian Reese said in his post-game presser. “I kinda took that personally and tried to go at him a bit. I feel like I did what I had to do to help get us a dub.”

Maryland had arguably its best game in terms of maintaining possession of the ball. The Terps did not allow a single turnover in the first half and only managed to let up five in the second half, giving them their season-low in lost possessions. 

Maryland’s upset-victory helped the team further establish its identity, and who fits in what role.Maryland appears to have its strictly offensive players and it its strictly defensive players. While few players in college basketball tend to balance both sides of the ball very well, there is one Terp that does, and his name is Jahmir Young.

While finishing the night with 20 points, Young’s six rebounds (five of which were defensive) made him Maryland’s second-highest rebounder behind 6 ‘9 Julian Reese. He was also Maryland’s leading three-point shooter of the night, making three of his six shots from beyond the arc. With 355 points so far this season, Young is currently eighth in the Big Ten for points scored and field goals made, while averaging 20 points in his past three games at home.

Photo Courtesy of Maryland men’s basketball’s Twitter

“They’re a very talented team, and we just had to value the basketball to give us a good chance,” Young said. “I’m just trying to be sharp with everything that we do and make sure that we have a certain type of urgency when we start the game.”

Julian Reese, on the other hand, finished the game notching his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds. His size inside the paint helped him swattwo of the team’s five blocks.

Then, there’s Donta Scott, who completed just two of nine field goal attempts in the first half but racked in 19 points with clutch second-half buckets,, trailing just a point short of the game’s high-scorer, Jahmir Young. Although a tad inconsistent on offense, Scott made it clear that he is an even more valuable player for his physicality and aggressiveness. With the third-most rebounds on the team (5), Scott also drew six fouls inside the paint.

“We know that if we try to shy away from the contact, then we most likely won’t get the foul,” Scott said post-game. “That’s why we really put an emphasis on being physical. We started playing through the bumps and let the referees make the decisions from there.”

Recent playmakers Hakim Hart and Don Carey had less-than-impressive showings against Indiana. Hart shot one for five in field goal attempts and only managed a single defensive rebound, finishing the game with just six points. Carey, after putting up 16 points in his last game against Nebraska, ended the night with just two points from a pair of free throw attempts.

In the new Willard-era, Maryland is 12-1 at home this season after three dominant matchups against Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Indiana. With two road games in the queue against Minnesota and Michigan State, the Terps now face tests on the road that are crucial in padding their tournament resume.

“I think we got to bring our defensive intensity,” head coach Kevin Willard said. “It’s got to travel with us. I don’t think it has. So that’s something I’ve never dealt with.”

Fortunately for Maryland, Minnesota has the worst record in the Big Ten and averages the fewest points per game (62.2). If the Terrapins can bring the same defensive pressure they put on Indiana, they should be in store for success this Saturday.