The Hoies weren’t fabulous for the first 30 minutes on Wednesday night either. Qudus Wahab, the massive 6-foot-11-inch center of Maryland, pushed its way into the lane. And Tech’s second placement in the second half came just over 10 minutes from time, as they trailed 40-37.
But the Hokies regrouped and capitalized on their strengths: defense and Keve Aluma.
It should be noted that it is the Hokies, not their rivals in Charlottesville, who lead the ACC in most defensive categories. They lived up to that reputation by holding the Terps scoreless on the field for nearly nine minutes.
And Aluma, their all-ACC senior forward, took advantage of Wahab’s troubles and slow feet to pass him several times en route to a night of 17 points and 12 rebounds.
“It’s the mark of a mature team that’s been through tough times,” said Young. “You are not panicking.”
Turgeon’s Terps should take some notes. Sadly, while Young has a veteran and cohesive team. Turgeon is trying to integrate Wahab (Georgetown), Fatts Russell (Rhode Island) and Xavier Green (Old Dominion) transfers into his system. Turgeon said: “We are a work in progress.”
It was not smooth. One night when Maryland honored the late Len Bias’ induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame, it was obvious the Terps had no one close to this caliber.