Feisty Terps fall to No. 3 Kentucky, offer hope for season to come

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And on and on it went. Maryland, as a team and as individuals, has much to work on. It showed, however, it has even more to work with in the months to come.

“They’re the defending national champions, so they’re going to get everybody’s best every night they come out,” said Wells, who played two days after receiving immediate eligibility from the NCAA. “They got our best and we let it slip through our fingers. We could have won that game.”

The wins will come for these Terps. The six players who logged their first time for Maryland won’t face opening night nerves again. The shaky perimeter shooting (3-for-19) will sure improve to some degree. Guard Nick Faust who struggled first with shooting and later with apparent cramping will have better days.

So will Maryland. It is too soon to declare the Terps are ticketed for a deep run in March or a serious shot at a conference title. One game secures little, but it does reveal a possible trajectory.

Maryland hit its low tide a year ago, an ultimately irrelevant string of games from beginning to end in a 17-15 season. Gone are so many of the figures of that campaign, with upgrades littered throughout the roster in their stead.

There’s still a ways to go, still a chasm to traverse. It just doesn’t look nearly as wide after a frenzied Friday night in Brooklyn that didn’t produce a victory but did validate optimism this might just be an intriguing ride in the months to come.

“We’re going to win, and we’re going to win this year,” Turgeon said. “We just didn’t win tonight. I can promise you that. We learned a lot tonight, and Kentucky had national championship pride, and they wanted it a little more than we did. We’re going to learn from it. I have a lot of competitors, and we’re going to win.”

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