Maryland coach Mark Turgeon knows youthful inconsistency is part of the package when deploying a roster dominated by underclassmen. But during the Terrapins' 72-59 win over Clemson on Saturday, he saw his team showcase an unexpected trait: stability.
Freshman guard Seth Allen overcame eight turnovers to finish with 16 points, including the winning free throws with two seconds remaining, and Maryland upset No. 2 Duke 83-81 on Saturday.
Pe'Shon Howard might spend as much time in the Comcast Center media room as anyone on Maryland's roster. Even on days when the point guard doesn't duck in, though, he has a pretty good idea what sort of questions coach Mark Turgeon is fielding from scribes.
Maryland closed out nonconference play Tuesday with a 81-63 defeat of IUPUI, its 12th straight victory coming against the latest random and overmatched opponent to enter Comcast Center.
Most days after practice, Maryland forward Jake Layman will linger to work with assistants Scott Spinelli and Eric Hayes on getting over screens and on-ball defense. At other times, he'll put up extra shots with teammates.
Maryland's conditioning opportunities decreased in early December, and freshman Charles Mitchell slipped a bit. He added a few pounds, grew a little more sluggish and found his playing time diminish significantly.
This was a change of pace, a stark contrast to the de facto scrimmages Maryland partook in over the previous three games.
Maryland's priorities did not change over a nine-day break for final exams.
Mark Turgeon wanted the breakthrough to come this week. Actually, he probably wanted it a month earlier, but at this stage the sooner the better would suffice.