Maryland was severely short-handed in the paint in last night’s 71-42 rout of Fairfield.
It meant Landon Milbourne plugged away at power forward against a sizable front line for 31 of the first 33 minutes before the Terrapins were in control and Gary Williams relieved him for the night.
So, was it a tiring outing for the senior?
“No, not at all,” Milbourne said. “I felt real good tonight. I kept telling coach ‘You don’t have to take me out. I’m fine.’ He’s trying to work guys in and see how other guys are going to play. That’s understandable.”
Milbourne’s line wasn’t especially remarkable, nor was it shoddy. There were 10 points, eight rebounds and a blocked shot – not far off a typical day.
But what did stand out was the five offensive rebounds Milbourne hauled in. Two of them led to putbacks, and much of Milbourne’s offensive work occurred in the paint rather than floating back for mid-range jumpers.
There were times he looked like the guy who almost single-handedly kept Maryland in contention at Florida State last season. That was before the toll of a full season of contending with big men throughout the ACC wore him down a little bit.
“Landon Milbourne, I thought he was a monster out there,” Williams said. “He just played hard.”
That is typically what Milbourne does. After I asked Milbourne about getting tired, it struck me as sort of a silly question.
This was a guy who played 77 minutes as a freshman and was eager to do a lot more. If there’s anyone who won’t complain about getting plenty of playing time, it’s him.
“Yeah, exactly,” Milbourne said with a not-so-weary laugh.