College Park, MD – Anthony Cowan made sure everyone realizes this is now his team with Melo Trimble gone. Cowan led Maryland (3-0) to a 79-65 win over a scrappy Butler (2-1) team. This game was part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, which is a series of games between the Big Ten and Big East teams.
The 6-0 Cowan, a super quick sophomore point guard, has some pretty big shoes to fill with Trimble moving on to the pro’s. So far Cowan is delivering in impressive fashion averaging 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists. He has an ability to get into the paint and draw contact at a high rate. Cowan was 12-of-15 from the free throw line on the night. When he wasn’t setting the offense or setting up his teammates he was chasing down loose ball rebounds or flying through the air to coral misses off the rim. Cowan impacted the game on three levels, offense, defense and rebounding. These are all quantifiable qualities a team leader can exemplify. His final stat line was 25 points, ten rebounds, five assists, two steals and only one turnover.
The two other players that provided Maryland with a spark were its two coveted freshman, 6-4 Darryl Morsell and 6-10 Bruno Fernando. Fernando is a ball of energy. Whether its diving on the floor for a loose ball, or challenging shots at the rim, he is someone his teammates feed off of. Fernando has the physique of a pro already. He has great length and is built like a much more physically mature player, despite being just 19 years old. Fernando finished with eight points, four rebounds and one block in 20 minutes.
Morsell impacted the game on defense more than any other player on the court. For much of the night when he was on the floor, he was matched up against NBA prospect 6-7 senior Kelan Martin. Morsell is a very physical player. He does not back down from anyone and plays with an edge that has been lacking for Maryland teams under coach Mark Turgeon. Morsell pressured the preseason all Big East player, on and off ball. At one point he pick pocketed the normally sure handed senior and took it the other way for a big two handed slam. On offense Morsell showed toughness as well. He is a very physical driver in the lane and also has the ability to hit the mid range jumper. Morsell had 13 points, two assists, two blocks and one big steal on the night.
For Butler the game did not quite go as planned. They struggled to take advantage of Maryland’s 20 turnovers. Butler seemed out of sync at times on offense and lost focus on defense several times. Although prized senior forward Martin struggled, there were a couple of bright spots for Butler. 6-1 Kamar Baldwin, a sophomore point guard, was a nuisance on defense and took what the Terps gave him on offense. Baldwin is a tough guard one vs. one on the perimeter. He uses his quick first step and solid body control to penetrate to create scoring opportunities for his teammates and himself. Baldwin only ended up going 6-of-21 from the field, but he showed promise for what he can bring to the table for the rest of the year. He had 15 points, four rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block.
The leading scorer for the Bulldogs was 6-6 sophomore shooting guard Sean McDermott. McDermott is a three-point specialist and has the length to get his shot off with hands in his face. He has a smooth stroke and seems to find open spaces on the floor with regularity. He finished with 17 points, three rebounds and three three-pointers. Martin had twelve points and six rebounds in the contest.
There were many NBA scouts in attendance for this game. Most were probably interested in watching Maryland’s 6-7 Justin Jackson (6’7 225) and fellow 6-7 sophomore Kevin Huerter. Jackson struggled on offense, finishing with just four points. However, he did have eleven rebounds and played solid defense. Huerter struggled as well scoring just nine points and turning the ball over five times. Although it was not his best offensive game he still found a way to make an impact with five assists, seven rebounds and played solid defense.
Next up for Butler is Furman on Saturday while Maryland plays Bucknell on Saturday.
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