Gary Williams may think Maryland is a “work in progress,” but utter domination of three overmatched opponents has his team off to another strong start. That doesn’t appear likely to change Monday.
The coach hopes the No. 21 Terrapins will avoid a letdown Monday when they face Division II host Chaminade in the opening round of the Maui Invitational.
Maryland has opened its fourth consecutive season by winning three in a row. The Terrapins started 4-0 last season before dropping their following two games.
This start has come in dominant fashion, as the Terrapins have overpowered their opponents by an average of 31.4 points while holding them to 31.1 percent shooting with 68 turnovers.
Maryland continued the superb run Friday, when it never trailed en route to an 82-55 rout of New Hampshire. The Terps impressed on both ends of the floor, shooting 56.6 percent while forcing the Wildcats into 21 turnovers.
“We’re a work in progress,” Williams said. “We’re getting to be a good basketball team, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Where we are right now, it’s hard to say. But we’ll find out pretty quick.
“I don’t judge the margins, scores or anything like that. I just try to get us to play at a certain level.”
The Terrapins’ schedule is expected to get tougher in the Maui Invitational, which features major-conference foes No. 24 Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, Colorado, Gonzaga, Arizona and Wisconsin.
Maryland isn’t expected to have too much trouble with the Silverswords, and a win would set up a meeting in Tuesday’s semifinals against either Cincinnati or Vanderbilt.
The Terrapins have won both previous games against Chaminade, with the most recent a 98-69 victory Nov. 22, 2005.
Maryland’s Landon Milbourne will try to build on perhaps the best performance of his collegiate career. The senior forward had a career-high 24 points while shooting 9 of 15 and pulling down four rebounds Friday. He’d totaled 26 points with 15 boards over the previous two games.
Milbourne finished second on the team last season with averages of 11.4 points and 5.2 rebounds.
“He can score inside and he can score outside,” Williams said. “He is the guy that can make jump shots and he can score inside. He’s just a good player.”
Chaminade is opening its season after going 15-12 in 2008-09, posting a 7-5 mark to finish fourth in the Pacific West Conference and miss the NCAA Division II tournament.
The Silverswords have a young roster featuring eight freshman and sophomores after three of their top four scorers from last season graduated.
They lost 88-63 to UCLA in the first round of last year’s Maui Invitational, and went on to lose all three games to finish last in the eight-team field.
In 2007, Chaminade beat Princeton and finished seventh in the tournament.