If Maryland fanatics at the Xfinity Center did not really know if Bruno Fernando returned for his season season with the Terrapins, he soon remembered us on Tuesday. And if someone doubted the role that the new student Jalen Smith could have in this team, he immediately showed his potential.
However, despite the brilliant performances of the pair of 6-foot front and 10, Maryland fought late and barely survived its seasonal pitcher against Delaware.
Again and again, the dice of Fernando caused a roar within the area, and he and Smith led the Terrapins in a 73-67 victory. Maryland led 17 points at halftime, but Terps struggled with the offensive in the second half and allowed Delaware to cut the deficit to only three points with a minute.
Fernando, who tested the waters in the NBA draft, teamed up this spring, scored 15 points in 6- for 6 firing against the Blue Hens while sharing the frontcourt with Smith, a five-star Baltimore recruiter. Smith scored twice in his Maryland debut with 19 points and 13 rebounds, including nine offensive rebounds.
"Once you establish your first double-double, what could happen in the first night we'll play," said coach Mark Turgeon last month of Smith, "national attention will come."
Before the show match against Lynn University last week, Smith was not practicing well, said Turgeon. But, then, the new player published a game of 22 points. Smith was a "different player from there," said Turgeon, adding that Smith and Fernando are still learning to play with another great talented man at court.
Four minutes for the second time on Tuesday, Fernando passed the ball to Smith, who finished with a bit. At the moment when both of them had made their way to the other side of the court, Fernando smiled and applauded before focusing on defense. Fernando registered the three blocks in the first semester, which generated a rumor between the crowd similar to his dice. Fernando laughed at the last minute of the game when the blue chickens were accelerated.
Terrapins' inability to maintain a significant advantage against Delaware could be a concern because Maryland continues its non-compliance schedule, which includes five teams that participated in the NCAA tournament last year and its Big Ten board. Terps had a drought of almost six minutes without a field goal in the second half while Delaware closed the gap.
Eric Carter, who finished with 29 points and nine rebounds for the Blue Hens, helped triple Jacob Cushing to shoot Delaware at 70-67 and Turgeon called a timeout with 1:21 to play. Maryland journalist Anthony Cowan Jr. made three free throws to secure the victory.
Maryland returned some key players last season as Fernando and Cowan, who scored 15 points on Tuesday. But for the most part, Terps will have young players like Smith in the 100th season of the show. The class of first-class students includes six scholarship students and eight minutes for the game. Turgeon has already chosen to use five of these players. Both Smith and Aaron Wiggins have won their debut in college.
In the spring, each Maryland player chose a word that would set his season out. Steward Darryl Morsell chose a "shooter", referring to the area he wanted to show, according to teammate Ivan Bender. Morsell scored the first Maryland points of the season against Delaware and did it behind the arch. Morsell only made three triples last season.
But after Morsell and Wiggins recorded three scores at the beginning of the game, the Terps fought deeply. Maryland finished the night 2 by 19 from three points.