Five what-ifs

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Maryland is a little more than midway through its conference schedule, so it seems like a good time to do two things:

1) Come up with a midyear all-ACC team
2) Figure out how a few developments could have altered the course of Maryland’s season

So that’s one list. How about another then?

In short, here’s five things that could have had us looking at the Terrapins a lot differently.

1. Sean Mosley doesn’t sprain an ankle in the preseason. An odd No. 1? Not really. If Mosley stays healthy, he probably begins the season in the starting lineup and remains a fixture for a while. What does that do to Adrian Bowie? And Cliff Tucker? Great questions that will never be answered.

2. Maryland can hold on to big leads on back-to-back Wednesdays in January. If the Terps had defeated Morgan State like they were supposed to and then fended off Miami a week later, they would be 17-6 and 5-4 in the ACC. There would not be a remotely dubious loss on their resume, they’d have a pair of wins over a weakened Miami bunch and they’d pretty much be in “don’t mess up” mode the rest of the way.

3. Goran Suton stays healthy. The best thing Maryland has going for it is a rout of Michigan State in November. But the Spartans played without injured center Goran Suton, and Maryland feasted without having to deal with a skilled big man. Now, that’s not to minimize the Terps’ victory, but their resume could look a lot different had Suton played on Thanksgiving night.

4. Tyree Evans and/or Gus Gilchrist are in Maryland uniforms. A valid thing to mention, regardless of why either one is no longer around. Maryland could use a viable 3-point shooter and a big man, though the results for both players suggests Evans would have been the more useful piece this season. Either way, there’s a chance the Terps would have an extra victory or two if one of those guys was around. Or not.

5. Iman Shumpert makes a buzzer-beater. There’s a big, big difference between 4-5 and 3-6 in the conference, especially with nearly a week to sit around and stew about it. A last-second situation finally went in Maryland’s favor, and the timing was serendipitous. Maryland still has a chance for a postseason push, but things would have looked really ugly without that victory Sunday at Georgia Tech.

Patrick Stevens

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