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In exhibition game, Terps get taste of the future with 86-52 win over San Francisco State

COLLEGE PARK — Overshadowed by the football team's streak-busting victory at Penn State, the Maryland men's basketball team made its own statement Saturday at Xfinity Center.

It wasn't the margin of victory over Division II San Francisco State in their first exhibition game that made coach Mark Turgeon smile. It was the way the Terps shot the ball from long range, particularly four of their newcomers.

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Three of the four freshmen in Turgeon's well-regarded recruiting class scored in double figures in the 86-52 win. Highly acclaimed point guard Melo Trimble led Maryland with 19 points and five assists, while shooting guard Dion Wiley followed with 16 points and small forward Jared Nickens added 13.

Senior transfer Richaud Pack, who played shooting guard and point guard, finished with 15 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists.

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The four newcomers combined to hit 14 of 25 3-pointers against a Gators team that stayed in a sagging 2-3 zone for the entire game. Turgeon said after the game that the Terps did not watch film of their opponent and had worked on a zone offense for only a couple of days.

After starting his postgame news conference by congratulating the Maryland football team and field hockey team, which won its first Big Ten Conference regular-season championship Saturday, Turgeon said he was mostly pleased with his own team's performance.

"It was a great day for our athletic department and a good day for our basketball team," Turgeon said. "They were a full-blown Princeton-offense team, which is hard to guard, and we kind of had to make adjustments on the fly."

One thing that wasn't difficult to figure out was San Francisco State's zone. Turgeon turned Dez Wells, the team's leading scorer the past two seasons, into a facilitator (five assists) by putting the 6-foot-5 senior guard around the foul line.

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It was Wells' job to find shooters, and he set up Trimble for his first basket as a Terp, one of four 3-pointers the 6-3 freshman hit among his eight attempts from deep. Wells later found Wiley for back-to-back baseline 3-pointers, and the 6-4 freshman buried both without the ball hitting the rim.

How well Wells passed — and how accurately the team shot from outside — was a carryover from preseason practice.

"Dez has led us in assists the first three weeks in practice," Turgeon said. "I kept talking to our guys. We had to have more guys break down the defense besides Dez; we got to work on that a little bit. He made some nice plays, especially early in the game. I thought Dez was great sharing the ball."

Wiley said the way Wells shared the ball was emblematic of the attitude of this season's team. It is a mindset different from that of many stars during Turgeon's tenure at Maryland, starting with mercurial guard Terrell Stoglin in his first season and continuing with Seth Allen, Nick Faust (City) and, to a certain extent, Wells the past two years.

"Nobody cares about how many points they score," said Wiley, who hit three of four 3-pointers, three of five field goals overall and seven of eight free throws. "We all got the same goal. I just think everyone wants to win."

Junior forward Jake Layman, who missed both of his 3-pointers but made his other three attempts inside the arc, said Saturday's game served to help acclimate the freshmen as the regular season approaches.

"I think tonight was really so our young guys could get out in front of a crowd and feel what it felt like to be out there and go through that routine," Layman said. "It's probably a bigger adjustment for them. They played great tonight."

Notes: The Terps had more turnovers (19) than assists (18), including six by Layman. The other area of concern for Turgeon was rebounding, with Maryland holding a 36-30 advantage and outscoring San Francisco only 14-13 in second-chance points. Maryland will play a second exhibition game against Bowie State next Saturday before starting the regular season Nov. 14 against Wagner.

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