With a minute left in Maryland’s exhibition against Northwood, freshman forward Jin Soo Kim banked a shot off the glass and tumbled to the floor after drawing a foul.
As the crowd roared with approval Saturday, Kim got up and high-fived several of his teammates on the Terrapins’ bench. It was just an exhibition game - a 104-60 blowout by the Terps - but the forward from South Korea showed why he has become the new fan favorite at Comcast Center.
“He’s the new thing. Crowds, they like that,” coach Gary Williams said. “He was pretty nervous early and everything was real tough for him. I think he just settled down a little bit at halftime.”
Though he did it against an NAIA foe, Kim’s 20 points on 6-for-13 shooting made him the focal point. On Monday, he was cleared by the NCAA; he had a whole four days to practice with the Terps before Saturday’s exhibition.
Still, he made an impact - particularly notable after he shot 0-for-5 in the first half.
“My coaching staff told me, ‘If you’re not gonna make the shots, just get on the inside and then get the rebound and just get [back on] defense,’” Kim said. “I really focused on basics and followed directions all game. That really helped my game today.”
Junior forward Landon Milbourne added 20 points on 9-for-15 shooting. With guard Greivis Vasquez sitting out after violating a team policy, Milbourne filled the leadership role, making smart plays like driving to the basket to draw fouls and hitting open jumpers.
The Terps committed just 11 turnovers, but Williams offered a note of caution before they open the regular season Friday against Bucknell.
“It’s Nov. 8,” he said, “so you don’t get too carried away with anything that happens today.”