Pe’Shon Howard logged 35 minutes in Maryland’s 79-74 loss at N.C. State on Sunday. Immediately afterward, coach Mark Turgeon noted he needed to do a better job of managing the sophomore’s workload.
Howard, of course, missed the first nine games for the Terrapins (10-4, 0-1 ACC) with a broken foot. He made his season debut less than three weeks ago against Radford.
“I feel like I’ve played a whole season already,” Howard said. “I’m really hard on myself because I’ll think ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do that,’ but at the end of the day I’ve only played five games and everybody else has had 15 or 16. It’s still like a catch-up process, and I’m still trying to feel my way in.”
While Howard’s return gave Turgeon more options to work with, it has had little effect on the number of people the Terps can use at point guard. With Nick Faust shifted to full-time work on the wing, Howard and Terrell Stoglin are the only realistic options to run the team.
And if Stoglin is glued to the bench? That leaves Howard as the only possibility.
“I talked to Pe’Shon about it,” Turgeon said. “I’d like to get him between 30 and 32 [minutes] when he’s not in foul trouble. Terrell got in foul trouble in the first half and that kind of messed us up with his minutes. I don’t have a third point guard right now because I’ve taken Nick completely away from that. A lot of games left, a lot of time. We can keep making some adjustments and keep trying to figure this out.”
Howard’s performance on offense Sunday probably led to some introspection on Turgeon’s part. While Howard had eight assists, he was also 1-for-8 from the floor and matched the number of free throws he’d missed in his first four games combined (two).
“I feel like my shot is getting tight because my body is so tired at the end of games. I’m just trying to push through. In the games, I don’t really feel tired because your adrenaline is rushing. But he said he could see it and he’ll try to bring my minutes down. I don’t really want it to happen, but I don’t have a problem with it as all.”
No concerns in any way?
“Not at all because the next morning I feel it,” Howard said.
—- Patrick Stevens