Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

A possible turning point for Maryland

December 13, 2013 Columns No Comments

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Maybe this can be a turning point for Maryland.  It might seem like a far-fetched notion given that it’s December and it came after a win against a team that was 3-6 coming into the evening.  But head coach Mark Turgeon didn’t want to understate how important the win is by itself and in light of how the Terrapins’ season has been going.

“I don’t want to understate this: that was a really big win for us,” said Turgeon after the Terrapins’ 88-80 win at Boston College on Thursday night.

Maryland has been through plenty of adversity thus far.  They have had to play without starting point guard Seth Allen, which has forced lineup shuffling.  They haven’t developed as much depth as Turgeon would like to have, especially for running.  They have also had some tough losses to deal with, including the last game before Thursday night, a tough loss to George Washington after seemingly wearing the Colonials down in the final minutes to rally.

In between it all, they have shown their potential in winning the Paradise Jam, their first in-season tournament championship since 2006.  While they didn’t exactly beat three NCAA Tournament teams, they did beat a good Northern Iowa team to reach the final and took home the title with a win over Providence.  This is a team with good talent and a good coach.

To a degree, the Terrapins’ 6-4 record is reflective of growing pains.  Last year, the team was very young, with the kind of youth Turgeon said he couldn’t remember having to rely on.  They’re not exactly an old team this season, with just one senior in little-used John Auslander and three juniors who play significant minutes, but they’re not entirely inexperienced.  The injury to Allen means freshman Roddy Peters has to play more and have a bigger role now than they would probably like at this point, and freshmen will make mistakes, especially at the point.

Allen fractured his left foot in practice in late October, and is expected to be out at least another month.  That has meant having to start Peters, who would probably be better served backing Allen up to grow at a pace, or having Dez Wells play the point and bringing Peters off the bench.  But the latter means Wells has to do more than just score, and he has to get others involved more than when he plays off the ball.

On Thursday, Wells certainly scored, carrying the team in the second half en route to a career-high 33 points.  He was 12-18 from the field and scored 22 of those points after intermission, when the Terrapins out-scored BC 26-8 in points in the paint.  No Eagle could stop him from getting to the basket, though several tried, and one of the team leaders certainly looked like it on the night.

“He just told me to be who I am,” Wells said of Turgeon.

“Dez really cares,” said Turgeon.  “What we’re going through has been really hard, and so for him to have a night like this, I’m really happy for him, because he takes losing harder than the rest of them.”

Wells is impressed with Peters but knows what he has to go through.  He knows there will be failure as well as success, and he’s trying to help Peters through that at an accelerated pace.  Peters had a nice night on Thursday with 14 points on 5-8 shooting to go with three assists against three turnovers.  It’s another step in his growth.

“He’s getting comfortable, he’s getting his confidence up, and that’s what we need from him,” said Wells.  “He’s going to be lights out once he finally really gets it and starts to think the game a little more on the college level.  He’s a great competitor and a great talent.”

Maybe Thursday night is where Peters moves into the starting lineup permanently, at least until Allen comes back.  Turgeon has gone back and forth between starting him and bringing him off the bench, starting him three times but not once in consecutive games.  Thursday night was his first start in six games.  With the way Wells played by being able to play off the ball more, there’s a compelling case to be made for starting Peters more.

Maryland led from the beginning on Thursday night, but fell behind in the second half as Boston College finally caught them after coming up short with a few rallies.  But the Terrapins didn’t let losing a game-long lead become a psychological blow.  Instead, they battled right back and played more like a veteran team.  They started out the night shooting the lights out, especially from long range, but cooled off, and had to go inside, which they did.

For Maryland, managing through the early part of ACC play next month will be key.  The Terrapins have already lucked out in that they have to play Duke, North Carolina and Syracuse only once, although the former two will be away from home.  But they finish the regular season with four of five at home, so that will be a chance to finish strong heading into the ACC Tournament.

There are still four non-conference games left, all at home and none of them likely to mean much for the Terrapins’ NCAA Tournament hopes.  They host Boston University along the way, and while the Terriers are Patriot League favorites a win over them won’t impress the NCAA Tournament committee much.  The good thing is the Terrapins don’t have a bad loss thus far.  Turgeon said they know they have to be good in the ACC because of the non-conference play, and that includes winning a game or two on the road.  They did that just twice last year.

Maryland started off this year’s ACC slate with a road win, one that came at a good time.  Maybe it’s a sign that this team is indeed growing.  Maybe it could be a turning point for this team given the time at which they got it.

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Coaching Changes and NBA Draft Early Entrants

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Also, keep track of players who have declared early for the NBA Draft.

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – October 2, 2017

October 2, 2017 by

The FBI has zeroed in on college basketball in a big way, and what has happened may be the beginning of a massive hit to the sport. We discuss what we know thus far in our latest podcast.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – August 17, 2017

August 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we check in with some good news from a few teams overseas after a big scare, plus a big addition for a championship contender, a conference on the rise, and a great coach thinking about a return to the bench.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – June 21, 2017

June 21, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we talk about the NBA Draft, of course, but spend much more time on the happenings at Ohio State and Louisville and the implications starting next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 17, 2017

May 18, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, we start with the NBA Draft Lottery, then talk about a big pickup for Duke, important transfers, the coaching carousel winding down and much more.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 27, 2017

April 27, 2017 by

In our latest podcast, the business of college sports, as well as that of sports media, takes center stage. We talk about the layoffs at ESPN, college basketball’s opening night, and Wichita State’s departure from the Missouri Valley Conference. We close with thoughts on a departed friend of the media business as well.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.