COLLEGE PARK — COLLEGE PARK - The Maryland students at Comcast Center were waiting to explode the moment Jin Soo Kim's three-pointer settled into the bottom of the net for the first time.
Finally, with a little less than 15 minutes left in yesterday's 104-60 exhibition win over the NAIA's Northwood University, Kim hit a three. The explosion came - from the students and then from Kim.
Though he struggled with his outside shot, making only one of six three-point attempts, Kim finished with 20 points - 18 in the second half and most resulting from slicing drives to the basket with either hand.
"He didn't surprise me at all. I knew he could play like that," said junior forward Landon Milbourne, who also had 20 for the Terrapins. "We've been playing pickup games, little drills after practice. In the time he has been practicing with us, he's had little flashes of that."
The first South Korean to play Division I basketball, Kim, 19, gained his eligibility from the NCAA Clearinghouse on Tuesday. A combination of nerves and unfamiliarity with the Maryland offense led to a shaky first half.
"You never know what a player is learning sitting in street clothes," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "Jin Soo had some things down when he came on the court; he knew some of our basic plays. I think it showed today. He can put the ball well on the floor for a guy who is 6-8."
Kim said he felt very "happy" after making his first shot, and some of that happiness was also felt by the students, who were chanting Kim's full name by the end of the game.
"It was fun too see that, but we've got a long way to go and he's got a lot of things to learn," Williams said. "But it was great to see because that gives him confidence."
NOTE: : Freshman guard Sean Mosley (St. Frances) sat out with a sprained ankle. Junior guard Greivis Vasquez didn't play because of a one-game suspension for violating team rules. Both are expected to play Friday against Bucknell in the season opener.
Friday, 8 p.m.
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