“We are gonna bring the swag back to Maryland Basketball.”
Those were the words of Kevin Willard inside the Xfinity Center when he was introduced as the head coach of the Terrapins last March.
Willard followed by saying it wasn’t going to happen overnight.
But less than 11 months later, the 18,000 and change on hand in College Park on Thursday night let out a collective roar after a 68-54 victory over No. 3 Purdue. It carried this emotion: the Terps are ahead of schedule.
Terps announce their presence in the Big Ten
Trailing 37-29 less than four minutes into the second half, Willard called a timeout. Just when it looked like the Boilers were back on track, the Terrapins put a halt to it. A Jahmir Young pull-up jumper pulled the Terps within six to bring the sellout crowd to life. A possession later, Purdue captain Mason Gillis was called for a technical foul. It unhinged the building and unleashed Maryland — to the tune of a 27-4 run and ultimately, victory.
With the win, the Terps announced their presence in the top four of the Big Ten race, turning the tables on Purdue. It marks the eighth win in 11 games for Maryland, which improved to 9-6 in the Big Ten.
Fans rush court as Maryland takes down Purdue
The Maryland Terrapins upset the No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers 68-54 on Thursday night.
Young went off for 20 points, while Julian Reese delivered strong defense on Zach Edey, going for 10 points and eight boards in the process. Edey? He scored 18 points, but it took him 15 shots to get there because Reese made life difficult for him all night.
The bigger picture storyline right off this one? Maryland is 14-1 inside Xfinity Center this season. It’s a difficult place to play in college basketball, and on Thursday night, the opportunity Willard took in March felt like what he said it was again: a top-10 job in college basketball.
Jahmir Young leads Maryland with 20 points
Jahmir Young scored 20 points to help Maryland bet a top-3 team for the first time since 2016.
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John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.
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