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.
As James Padgett has soldiered through his senior season, the forward's dwindling minutes have stood in contrast to his elder statesman status. Out with veteran savvy, in with youthful potential.
Maryland spread the wealth, with six players — Logan Aronhalt, Alex Len, Jake Layman, James Padgett, Seth Allen and Dez Wells — scoring in double figures. Aronhalt led the way with 13 points, while Padgett poured in 12 on 6-for-6 shooting in his second start of ACC play.
The stream of early season cupcakes didn't leave Maryland soft and weak Saturday when the Terrapins faced Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener. Although opponents hadn't offered much resistance as Mark Turgeon's squad reeled off 12 consecutive wins, regular practice sessions made his team hard, strong and hungry to devour a real foe.
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.
Shaquille Cleare might not have arrived at Maryland as a perfectly polished player.
Bothered by the zone defense and slow motion offense put forth by South Carolina State on Saturday, Maryland struggled on offense but performed well enough to take a hard-earned 61-46 win over the Bulldogs.
Mark Turgeon's thoughts drifted to Shaquille Cleare specifically and his team's depth in general as he navigated his way home from Verizon Center after Sunday's defeat of George Mason.
Last Wednesday's film session was a rough one for freshman forward Charles Mitchell. Even in an 83-74 win over Lafayette, head coach Mark Turgeon focused on everything that the Terrapins – and Mitchell in particular – did wrong.