There are a lot of winners with Maryland guard Pe’Shon Howard coming back from a broken foot.
There’s Terrell Stoglin, whose shot-happy tendencies will be better indulged off the ball.
There’s Mark Turgeon, who adds a significant card to his coaching deck.
There’s Howard himself, who could establish himself as one of the top points in the ACC, non-Kendall Marshall Division, over the next month or two.
The player whose role changes the most – and for the better – might just be Nick Faust.
The freshman was forced into playing point guard for Maryland’s first nine games out of necessity. He did it without complaint, though not always with effectiveness. Faust leads the Terrapins with 25 turnovers and is shooting 28.8 percent from the floor.
But a third of the way through his freshman year, Faust can finally concentrate on being a full-time wing.
“I wouldn’t say a new season, but I would say it’s a burden off my shoulders,” Faust said. “I haven’t even thought about playing the one anymore. It’s a definitely a big help.”
Point-guard-by-default is never the most ideal position. Just remember the struggles of former Terp D.J. Strawberry, who played plenty of point guard in 2005-06 because Maryland simply didn’t have a replacement for John Gilchrist. With Eric Hayes and Greivis Vasquez in the fold, Strawberry was a second team all-ACC pick in 2007.
Faust’s situation differs in a lot of ways – he’s a freshman, he wasn’t coming off ACL surgery and he probably wasn’t going to be needed to play out of position for a year. Still, his potential wasn’t diminished from his stint helping to run the Terps.
“It’s so good for Nick,” Turgeon said. “This is the best. We’ll play lineups with Nick at the three. We’ll play Pe’Shon and Terrell with Nick and then Nick can rebound. He’s gotten offensive rebounds in practice this week and that’s what Nick can really do. He can really offensive rebound and that gives him confidence. It’s going to be great for Nick. I think playing point guard was good for him. It was a whole other animal and it wasn’t fair to him, and he still might play a little point at times depending on situations.”
Just to be clear, he said “a little” – which might still be more than how much Faust will run the offense the rest of this season.
“Coach actually told me not to even worry about the one anymore and just get back to my position and start learning the two and three again,” Faust said.