Skip to content

No. 3 Kentucky survives Alex Len and Maryland, 72-69

Nov 10, 2012, 12:09 AM EDT

-2

NEW YORK – Kyle Wiltjer finished with 19 points and six boards as No. 3 Kentucky was able to hold off a scrappy Maryland team 72-69 in the inaugural Barclays Center Classic.

Maryland was down by 13 at halftime and as much as 15 in the second half, but the Terps used a 21-4 run to take a 59-57 lead with eight minutes left. Freshman Seth Allen hit the big shots, drilling a pair of threes on back-to-back possessions to give Maryland the lead.

Wiltjer was the star for Kentucky and looks like he may end up being the guy that takes the big shot as the Wildcats look to defend their national title. When Maryland first tied the game at 53, it was Wiltjer that buried a three to give them the lead back. Kentucky also isolated him on the block on a couple of different possessions down the stretch.

Alex Len paced the Terps with 23 points, 12 boards and four blocks, outplaying UK’s vaunted front line of Willie Cauley-Stein and Nerlens Noel by a wide margin. UK’s twin towers finished with a combined 12 points and 15 boards, and while they did blocks seven shots, they also had a front row seat to the 28 — seriously, 28 — offensive rebounds that the Terps were able to collect. That’s not going to fly.

There really aren’t any bottom-lines to be taken out of this game, especially when it comes to Kentucky. That is a team that is going to develop and grow and work out their kinks. Alex Poythress is going to end up playing a much larger role than he did tonight. Noel and Cauley-Stein will get better on the glass. Ryan Harrow will likely bounce back from a bad opening performance; he’s battling the flu. This is a group of freshmen joining forces with upperclassmen that have never played a role this large for a program this scrutinized before. There is no way you can judge them based off of their first college games.

For Maryland, however, it is a bit of a different story.

Remember how we all said that the Terps were now relevant? How the addition of Dez Wells would be a game-changer and make the Terps a player in the ACC race? Well, it did. And based on the way that Maryland played tonight, they might have been better than we thought without Wells. Len is the real deal, that much was proven tonight. The reason Maryland lost was the horrific shooting performances they got from Pe’Shon Howard, Nick Faust, Dez Wells and Seth Allen. Those four combined to go 9-43 from the floor and 2-14 from three. They won’t shoot that poorly every night.

“Hopefully, some guys will understand that we don’t have to shoot in six seconds every time.

But hopefully, those same guys will understand that the 17:4 assist-to-turnover ratio they combined is the reason they were able to come back.

That’s the more important statistic to look at, and it will be how Maryland competes in the ACC.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

Latest Posts
  1. Former Kansas State guard ends up at Seton Hall

    May 4, 2015, 5:15 PM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Seton Hall picked up a potential impact guard as a transfer.

  2. Terry Rozier surprises three-year old at his birthday party

    May 4, 2015, 3:18 PM EDT

    CardChronicle CardChronicle

    It was a Terry Rozier-themed birthday part. Awesome.

  3. VCU’s Mo Alie-Cox charged with misdemeanor assault in incident with woman

    May 4, 2015, 2:56 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    Mo Alie-Cox is one of the biggest and strongest players in college basketball.

  4. Looking Forward: Potential Breakout Stars in 2015-16

    May 4, 2015, 2:42 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP Photo

    A quick look at some guys that can be stars in 2015-16.

  5. Bo Ryan helped raise more than $1 million for cancer this weekend

    May 4, 2015, 11:54 AM EDT

    Bo Ryan Bo Ryan

    Ryan has set records for his ability to raise money at events like this.

  6. Remembering when NBA MVP Stephen Curry first became a star (VIDEOS)

    May 4, 2015, 11:27 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Curry burst onto the national scene with a huge 2008 NCAA tournament run.

  7. SMU loses Class of 2016 commitment

    May 4, 2015, 10:51 AM EDT

    Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 10.49.59 AM

    LeGerald Vick could end up moving into the class of 2015.

  8. Pittsburgh adds to interior depth as graduate forward Rafael Maia commits

    May 3, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Maia led the Ivy League in rebounding in each of his three seasons playing at Brown.

  9. Notre Dame lands four-star 2016 point guard Temple Gibbs Jr.

    May 3, 2015, 10:55 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    Notre Dame’s first commitment in the 2016 class is an important one.

  10. Four-star point guard becomes Texas A&M’s first 2016 commitment

    May 3, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    The Aggies are on the board in 2016, and they’ve landed one of the top distributors in the class.

  11. Excerpts of Wisconsin forward’s testimony in Kessler lawsuit unsealed Thursday

    May 3, 2015, 8:25 PM EDT

    Nigel Hayes, Frank Kaminsky AP

    Nigel Hayes believes that each individual school should be allowed to decide how much they give an athlete should they be allowed to pay them in the future.

  12. Former Penn State forward headed to Houston Texans rookie minicamp

    May 3, 2015, 6:10 PM EDT

    AP Photo AP

    The Texans will hold its rookie minicamp next weekend.

  13. UNLV-bound Derrick Jones wins yet another dunk contest (VIDEO)

    May 3, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    Kelly Kline/Getty Images Getty Images

    Jones hasn’t played a college game yet, but when he arrives on campus at UNLV he’ll be one of the best dunkers in college basketball.

  14. Colorado transfer will finish his career at Arkansas

    May 3, 2015, 4:00 PM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Former Colorado guard Dustin Thomas is heading to Arkansas.

  15. Report: Bo Ryan has no future plans to retire from Wisconsin

    May 3, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan will be around for at least a few more years, it seems.

  16. Gonzaga lands Washington transfer Nigel Williams-Goss

    May 3, 2015, 1:55 PM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Gonzaga landed a huge transfer in former Washington guard Nigel Williams-Goss.

  17. Louisville’s Rick Pitino raises separate funds for charter jet use in recruiting

    May 3, 2015, 1:20 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Louisville head coach Rick Pitino’s charter jet use is examined in a new report.

  18. Former Old Dominion forward Richard Ross offered to join Minnesota Vikings mini-camp

    May 3, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT

    (AP) AP

    Former Old Dominion forward Richard Ross is continuing to pursue the NFL and has been invited to a mini-camp.