- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Point guard still Terps’ soft spot
Howard’s absence magnified in games
Question of the Day
There were no indictments of Maryland because of its loss to Illinois on Tuesday, only a statement of the obvious.
There was no need to pillory the Terrapins after a competitive performance featuring the team’s best half in a half-dozen games.
It wasn’t necessary to knock a frontcourt that started strong and produced a career-best performance for junior James Padgett, who scored 16 points.
It would be incorrect to tear into coach Mark Turgeon, who juggled his rotation admirably as Maryland (3-3) entered the final 10 minutes with a chance to topple the unbeaten Illini (7-0) before absorbing a 71-62 loss.
But what would be right would be to acknowledge the truth reinforced in November: The Terps badly miss guard Pe’Shon Howard.
Freshman Nick Faust is a swingman playing out of position. Sophomore Terrell Stoglin, a volume scorer on a team lacking consistently assertive options, would be best utilized off the ball on this particular team.
Both are vital to the Terps. Out of necessity, Turgeon cannot use either in an optimal manner until Howard returns from a broken left foot.
“Our point guard play wasn’t good enough,” Turgeon said. “Nick’s not a point guard. He’s trying as hard as he can. Terrell is a point guard. He’s got to do a little bit better job getting us into our offense. I have to do a little bit better job of figuring out ways to get into our offense besides a ball screen, and I will.”
It’s a great onus on Faust, a 6-foot-6, 175-pound Baltimore native who acknowledged this week he hasn’t played the point much other than occasional looks in AAU ball.
Needless to say, there’s a difference between AAU and an ACC-level program. Faust is one of two players to start every game, but he’s shooting 24.5 percent and has more turnovers (17) than assists (15).
“He’s come into a program, and he’s not a point guard and coach is asking him to be a point guard this year,” Stoglin said. “He’s got to learn, that’s all. He’s young. He’ll be fine.”
Probably so, but Howard’s absence means there will be extended growing pains. Turgeon said this week an MRI exam revealed a break in Howard’s left foot, meaning the sophomore won’t return until the tail end of his initial 8- to-12-week diagnosis.
At best, Howard isn’t expected back until after conference play commences and would be available for roughly half the season. If he misses much beyond that and Maryland continues to hover around .500, the discussion of a possible redshirt year probably arises.
“Nick needs to get his swagger back and all that kind of stuff,” Turgeon said. “He’s air-balling shots, and he’s thinking about it. Nick needs to get to the foul line, he needs to get to the rim. He’s a young kid, and unfortunately it’s hard for him to run a team right now. When Terrell won’t get us into [the offense], I have to go with Nick.”
For all Stoglin didn’t do at times — exercise patience, work the shot clock, take smart shots in the second half — he’s a scoring streak away from giving the Terps a chance to win nearly any contest. He had 25 points Tuesday to surpass the 500-point plateau in just his 39th career contest. The last Terp to get there so quickly was Steve Francis in 30 games in 1998-99.
It’s not the only thing he did rapidly against the Illini.
“I caught myself just trying to rush the ball,” Stoglin said. “Coach pulled me out a couple times and got in my head and told me I needed to slow down.”
That, like Howard’s value to the Terps, also seems obvious just six games into the season if the Terps are to enjoy success in Turgeon’s first year.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at email@example.com.
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- Jewish woman booted from JetBlue flight over fight with Palestinian
- MAY: Barbarians at Jordan's gate
- Outrage over $190M border security deal for troubled federal contractor
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq