Maryland guard Nick Faust was 0-for-3 from the outside in Wednesday’s victory over Albany.
Which, all things considered, was about right for the freshman.
“I told him, ‘Nick, there’s a reason you’re open,’” coach Mark Turgeon said. “‘They’re not guarding you, so get a running start on them.’”
Indeed, there’s a big reason: Faust is 5-for-30 from 3-point range on the season, a notable struggle for a player thrust into a large role early in his career.
Faust is shooting 31.0 percent overall, so the struggles aren’t merely from the perimeter. But he’s 2-for-21 from 3-point range over the last eight games for the Terrapins (8-3), who play host to Samford (3-8) on Saturday.
Turgeon said Faust is consistently making 15-footers in practice, and his foul shooting (12-for-16 over the last three games) has shown signs of progress.
The outside shot, though, might have to wait a while.
“Nick’s been able to make jump shots his entire life,” Turgeon said. “He’s been able to will them in and right now he’s going through a funk. He’ll make 3s before the year is over. Hopefully, it’s tomorrow. He’s got to realize that if it doesn’t feel good, he has to do other things and he’s doing that. He’s making players around him better.
Wednesday was the first time Faust came off the bench, and his 19 minutes was far less than his previous season-low of 26 minutes. That was bound to happen with Maryland adding Pe’Shon Howard and Alex Len to its rotation.
Of course, Faust reached double figures for only the third time and played his second straight turnover-free game, which could lead to a boost in playing time even if he remains a reserve.
“I think he understands it,” Turgeon said. “He might not like it. That doesn’t mean he’ll be on the bench every game. We’re so inconsistent.”
—- Patrick Stevens