#108 Maryland Men's Basketball Preview

Maryland Terrapins

Overall Rank: #108
Conference Rank: #10 ACC

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2010-11: 19-14, 7-9
2010-11 postseason: none
Coach: Mark Turgeon (First year at Maryland, 249-158 overall)

The end of the Gary Williams era ended with a thud, but Maryland will be back in business very soon under new Coach Mark Turgeon. Coach Turgeon has been successful everywhere he has been and that will not change at Maryland. During his four years at Texas A&M, the Aggies went to four NCAA Tournaments. Maryland will not likely reach the big dance in 2012, but the future under Coach Turgeon is very promising.

Who’s Out:
The Terrapins lose a ton of talent, most notably big man Jordan Williams. When the offense was working properly, it flowed through Williams. His lack of presence in the paint, not to mention his average of 16.9 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks will be very apparent this season. The departure of fellow starting forward Dino Gregory, who tallied 9.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per contest, leaves the frontcourt in shambles. Multi-faceted wing Cliff Tucker and defensive stalwart Adrian Bowie are also gone. Fortunately for the Terps, they have a nice nucleus of backcourt players returning who can offset the loss of Tucker and Bowie.

Who’s In:
Incoming freshman Nick Faust will add even more depth on the wing. The 6-6 Baltimore native is long and lean and would ideally play at the shooting guard position. His size allows him to shoot over most opposing defenders. With a little more strength, he can diversify his scoring, although he is already pretty good at weaving his way through traffic and finishing around the basket. The more important newcomer is redshirt freshman Ashton Pankey. The 6-9, 220 pound power forward is not a great scorer, but he is a good athlete who can get up and grab some rebounds and block some shots. On a team with few frontcourt options, Pankey will have to play a big role this season.

Who to Watch:
The success of the Terps will come from the backcourt. Pe’Shon Howard had a superb freshman campaign, dishing out 3.2 assists and only turning the ball over 1.7 times per contest. He is not much of a scorer, but he can shoot which will keep the opposing defense honest. Terrell Stoglin and Sean Mosley will do most of the scoring for this group. Stoglin is another sophomore who is coming off of a great freshman season. He started just 15 games and averaged only 21.5 minutes per contest, but he made the most of that playing time, averaging 11.4 points and 3.3 assists. With Howard and Stoglin in the backcourt, Maryland has two quality ball handlers and keeping the turnovers down will be very important. Mosley is the bigger guard who can help out on the glass. He is not a shooter, but he is a fine athlete who can finish above the rim. After averaging 8.1 points per game as a junior, Mosley will have to turn into a leader during his senior season. Mychal Parker and Haukur Palsson will join Faust providing depth on the wings.

Final Projection:
However, Palsson may find himself spending some time at the power forward spot. The 6-6, 190 pound sophomore is certainly undersized to play the four in the ACC, but outside of North Carolina, the conference does not boast too many strong frontcourts that can easily dominate the Terps. Palsson averaged just 10.1 minutes per game as a freshman, but as far as forwards go, he is the most experienced one on the team. The bigger issue will be at the five spot. Pankey is one option. The other options are 6-8 junior James Padgett and 6-10 senior Berend Weijs. Padgett averaged a mere 8.7 minutes per game last year, but at least he was in the regular rotation. Weijs came from the junior college ranks and failed to make much of an impact during his first year in College Park. He is a great shot blocker and a capable rebounder, but that never materialized last season. At least one, Pankey, Padgett or Weijs, has to step up and be a solid defensive player. All of their minutes will increase drastically, but it remains to be seen how much they can improve over last season. And that will be the difference between a decent Maryland team that can pull off some surprises or a Maryland team that finishes at the bottom of the conference.

Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT

Projected Starting Five:
Pe’Shon Howard, Sophomore, Guard, 5.4 points per game
Terrell Stoglin, Sophomore, Guard, 11.4 points per game
Sean Mosley, Senior, Guard, 8.1 points per game
Haukur Palsson, Sophomore, Forward, 2.8 points per game
James Padgett, Junior, Forward, 3.3 points per game

Madness 2011 Men's Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#44 Nick Faust

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