The Washington Times - December 29, 2011, 11:49AM

Conventional wisdom over the summer held that Maryland would trot out a bunch of four-guard lineups.

Then the Terps signed center Alen Len.

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Then he wasn’t eligible.

Then Pe’Shon Howard got hurt.

Then Len’s eligibility was restored on the contingency he’d sit out 10 games.

Then Howard came back

And a game later, Len debuted.

The Terps played one game without Len but with Howard, a contest that fueled those thoughts of a four-guard set being prominent. In Maryland’s 65-60 defeat of Radford last week, the Terps had four of Howard, Terrell Stoglin, Sean Mosley, Nick Faust and Mychal Parker on the court for 26:49 – including the last 5:20 of the game:

15:48 to 12:31 (1st): Howard/Stoglin/Mosley/Parker (3:17)
10:15 to 7:13 (1st): Howard/Stoglin/Faust/Mosley (3:02)
7:13 to 4:29 (1st): Howard/Stoglin/Mosley/Parker (2:44)
3:56 to 2:17 (1st): Howard/Stoglin/Faust/Mosley (1:39)
0:28 to 0:00 (1st): Howard/Faust/Mosley/Parker (0:28)

20:00 to 16:28 (2nd): Howard/Stoglin/Faust/Mosley (3:32)
16:28 to 12:55 (2nd): Howard/Stoglin/Mosley/Parker (3:33)
10:06 to 6:52 (2nd): Howard/Stoglin/Faust/Mosley (3:14)
5:20 to 3:24 (2nd): Howard/Stoglin/Mosley/Parker (1:56)
3:24 to 3:06 (2nd): Howard/Faust/Mosley/Parker (0:18)
3:06 to 0:32 (2nd): Howard/Stoglin/Faust/Mosley (2:34)
0:32 to 0:08 (2nd): Howard/Faust/Mosley/Parker (0:24)
0:08 to 0:07 (2nd): Howard/Stoglin/Faust/Mosley (0:01)
0:07 to 0:00 (2nd): Howard/Stoglin/Faust/Mosley/Parker (0:07)

Go ahead and tally that up. Maryland had at least four guards on the floor for 15:39 of the second half of the Radford game.

Now enter Len. Here’s the same four-guard breakdown for the Albany game last night:

1:49 to 0:30: Howard/Stoglin/Faust/Mosley (1:19)
0:30 to 0:00: Howard/Faust/Mosley/Parker (0:30)

That’s it – the final 1:49, when it behooved the Terps to have a theoretically better foul shooting lineup on the floor (though the numbers for Faust and Parker don’t entirely back that up).

The opponent undoubtedly had something to do with this. Albany had three credible big men, and Radford probably only had one. But the addition of Len was a greater variable.

Will there be times Maryland goes to a four-guard lineup as the season goes along? Sure. Just don’t count on it emerging as a regular theme. With coach Mark Turgeon reasonably comfortable with his four big men and larger lineups looming in league play, the three guards/two bigs alignment is probably what should be expected going forward.

Patrick Stevens