I thought Anderson was making a mistake going to Virginia after getting out of commitment to Maryland when Gary Williams retired and assistant coach Rob Ehsan, who had recruited Anderson out of Montrose Christian, was not retained by Turgeon. I also thought the Terps would not need another 6-5 player who seemed more like a one-dimensional dunker than an all-around player.
I guess I was wrong on both counts. Anderson was all smiles Sunday after scoring a season-high 17 points and pulling down nine rebounds, and taking over the game for a stretch after Pe’Shon Howard put the clamps on Harris for awhile. Given what he has done since moving into the starting lineup a couple of weeks ago, I think Anderson could be a nice piece that the Terps don’t have right now.
Anderson said that he didn’t put too much pressure on himself going into his first meeting with the Terps.
- Terps fall to Virginia, 80-69, at Comcast Center
- Maryland Terps coverage
- Analyzing Maryland's 2013-14 men's basketball season player by player
- 2013-14 Terps basketball [Pictures]
- Maryland-Duke memories
- The most memorable games in the Maryland-Duke rivalry
See more photos »
- Maryland Madness sights & sounds [Video]
- Video: Williams retires as Maryland basketball head coach
“I was just fired up to play with my team in general. It’s just another game. We came into a tough place and got a big win,” said Anderson, who was booed when he was introduced, taunted by the Maryland students -- 'We don’t want a traitor' -- and booed every time he touched the ball early on.
Anderson said he even “forgot this week we were playing Maryland” and credited Virginia coach Tony Bennett “for bringing some things out of me that I didn’t even know I had.”
One more thing: Anderson made it clear that he would have been a Terp had Williams not retired.
“If Coach Williams was still here, then they had my word and I signed a letter of intent and everything, and that’s where I wanted to be,” Anderson said. “It didn’t work out that way and God put me here at the University of Virginia.”
NO (POWER) FORWARD PROGRESS
Even when things were rolling back in December, Turgeon admitted that a lack of consistent productivity at the power forward position was a potential problem for the Terps. Turgeon starting Padgett for the past two games had something to do with what the blue-collar senior was doing, but it also had to do with what freshmen Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell were not.
Padgett got off to a quick start Sunday, but then he quickly disappeared, and after averaging 27 minutes the past three games, was back to single-digits again. Mitchell came in and made a couple of quick turnovers, and never seemed to get into the flow. Only Cleare played decently, but his strong finishes inside were offset by the fact that he didn’t get a rebound in 11 minutes.
A lot of Len’s issues with not becoming the dominant player many expected have to do with his own deficiencies – a lack of toughness being at the heart of the problem – but the 7-1 sophomore doesn’t have a lot of help from Maryland’s other big men. Logan Aronhalt said that Virginia’s double-teams on Len came quickly, and why not, given the fact that opponents are not concerned with the other bigs.
As stated above, a lot of the buzz for Saturday’s game against Duke was muted, if not killed entirely, by what transpired Sunday. Considering the fact that the Terps have not beaten the Blue Devils since Greivis Vasquez led them to victory in 2010, and Maryland played decently for much of last month’s game in Durham, N.C., yet still lost by 20, I have a feeling that this could be the proverbial nail in Maryland’s NCAA coffin.