Slowing it down vs. Syracuse not part of Maryland's nature
One ingredient for Maryland’s 6-5 overtime upset of top-seeded Syracuse in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals on Sunday was the Terps’ ability to dominate time of possession and keep the ball in the offense’s sticks.
But slowing the pace was not part of the game plan, asserted Maryland coach John Tillman who said he has heard some complaints about the team’s strategy.
“Not once was it talked about,” Tillman said during an NCAA-organized conference call on Tuesday morning. “Not once was it said, ‘Stall.’ … That’s not what we wanted to do, that’s not what we preach. But we also wanted to be smart with the ball.”
The Terps have relied on a senior-laden attack in Ryan Young and Grant Catalino, and sophomore Owen Blye has emerged as a third weapon. But the offense has also gotten a lift from its midfield, which has accounted for almost 33 percent of the scoring between the attack and midfield units.
Junior Joe Cummings ranks second in goals with 25, sophomore John Haus is tied with Blye for second in assists with 12, and the midfielders scored four of the team's goals in the win against the Orange.
“I think we’ve asked the middies to be more involved,” Tillman said. “… The middies feel they can make plays, and we have confidence in them to do that.”