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A few thoughts from future Terrapin Pe'Shon Howard

All week long, Haukur Palsson had been nagging point guard Pe'Shon Howard, a fellow Maryland rising freshman, about wanting to see Howard pass the ball through his legs. Palsson even reminded Howard of his request during Thursday night's Capital Classic at Bender Arena.

So finally, with about 40 seconds left in the game, Howard obliged. Palsson tossed an inbound pass across midcourt to Howard, who reached above his head to grab the ball before spiking it through his legs to Jayvaughn Pinkston, who also was competing on the U.S. All-Star squad.

"I just like passing and throwing some crazy stuff," said Howard, who finished with 14 points and three assists. "I feel like there's always a way I can get it off; I've just got to figure out a way to do it. ... [Palsson] threw it long and I just said, 'Hey J.' He wasn't paying attention, so I just threw it through my legs real quick."

Here's what else Howard had to say after last night's game:

On filling the shoes of departing seniors Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes: "It's great. Being a basketball player and being at Oak Hill, you take challenges all the time, so it will just be another big challenge. I mean, those are big shoes to fill for both of them. So I'll be at school early, the first summer school session, getting ready for that."

On his goals for his freshman season: "Just to keep winning and keep up the expectations from last year. I think a lot of people are kind of sleeping on us because we're going to be young, but I just want to work hard and make sure we keep up the same success the team had and maybe go further."

On the aspects of his game he wants to work on over the next few months: "Just my ability to score. Just being able to create my shot. I thought I did a good job [Thursday], but I'd like to have more of a mid-range game and be more balanced so I can score in different ways."

By Steve Yanda  |  April 16, 2010; 12:11 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: If the Big Ten calls, should Maryland listen?

Comments

Howard is quite possibly the most critical player to next year's success. Stoglin will be the backup or 3rd string point guard, Palsson will be a front court role player, and who knows what we'll get from Pankey after reccovering from injury. Howard has the ability to be a go-to scorer, and if he can demonstrate reliable range from 3, he will get a lot of minutes at the 2/3. He is the most likely freshman to be able to crack the starting lineup if GW goes with a 3-guard set next season. From what it seems, this kid has a lot of desire in him, which could give the Terps a lot of flexibility in the lineup.

Posted by: Russtinator | April 16, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Russ, hope you're wrong about Pe'Shon at the 3. I met him at Bentleys earlier this year (don't worry people, he wasn't drinking) and after the duke game saw him talking with Wilbon outside the locker room...dude is generously listed at 6 ft 2. He didn't seem taller than me and I'm nowhere near 6 ft 2. He could be a scoring point guard or a shooting guard, but unless Gary sticks with the wacky 3 guard lineup, or unless he has a growth spurt, there's no way he's a small forward in the ACC.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 16, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I do think the 3-guard lineup is a good possibility for stretches next season because Gary will want to get the best players on the court. Whether it's 2 or 3, I don't think it really matters offensively in the flex, but obviously defensively, the Terps would be stuck in some matchup issues against most ACC teams with Howard at the 3. As much as Howard seems to want to be a passer, I think his strength may be better not being the primary ballhandler like Steve Francis was with Terrell Stokes.

Posted by: Russtinator | April 16, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Then again, I wouldn't have thought Mosley was a 3 either but he's been great in that role his first 2 years. The more I think about Mosley next year, the more I think this is now his team. He'll be All ACC next year, you heard it here.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 17, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

It would surprising to see any of the freshman starting.

The starting line up almost already seems set with Bowie, Tucker, Mosley, Williams and Gregory.

Eventually some the freshman could move up if the upperclassmen slip. But out the gate it would surprising to see a different line up from the one listed above.

Gary will play and sometimes start good freshmen. But the terps have a good experienced team returning, so it will be difficult for a freshman to crack the starting line up.

Although it is worth noting that it remains to be seen if Bowie, or even Tucker or Mosely, can truly run the point. So there maybe a slither of hope for Howard. But it seems likely that Bowie will begin the season as the starting point guard.

Posted by: milton518 | April 18, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

So the elite programs have real stars at point guard and we have a pretty big question mark.

Not good, but that's what happens when you aren't a great recruiter.

Posted by: petecard | April 18, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Didn't the Terps just graduate a point guard who won the Cousy Award this season for best point guard in the nation? And didn't the Terps other point guard/2 guard win the national 3 point contest? Strange how quickly the Terp Insider's resident imbecile forgot about that. They weren't stars?

Also, as far as Gary's recruiting, how many times does it have to be pointed out to you before you get it through your incredibly small brain Petecard that Gary Williams has had 7 top 25 classes in the last 10 years and the only seasons in which he didn't have a top 25 class were when his incoming classes consisted of just one player (Gist in 2004, Neal in 2005, Mosley in 2008).

Please explain to us again Petecard how you're able to operate a computer but not comprehend these very simple facts. Any self respecting person who has been as insanely wrong about our previous recruits (from Vasquez to Jordan Williams) would simply stop commenting on these matters.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 18, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

I think Tucker is the least likely of the returning players to get a starting spot. Howard and Stoglin will probably fight for that spot depending on how well Tucker can play (see handle the ball) next fall, and how demonstrative Bowie will be at the point (may slide to 2 if Stoglin can run the team). Gregory would be the next returner that could face a challenge for his starting spot with Padgett probably giving him a good run in October. Pankey is the big question mark for next season's team, and could be a key to providing the Terps front court depth.

Posted by: Russtinator | April 19, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

I expect Bowie to run the point next yr, despite the 2 freshman coming in that will challenge him. The mental/psychological part of the game got to Bowie this past season, as his game for the majority of the season lacked confidence. He was solid as a sophomore when he started, but being sent back to the bench this season appeared to effect him mentally more than anything. His solid play towards the end of the season is a good sign going forward. Gary favors his experienced players, and I'm guessing he's already tabbed Bowie as his starter and given him things to work on for the summer. The vote of confidence from the coach, knowing that the job is his, will translate to more confident play with the ball in his hands.

Posted by: asnis715 | April 19, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I agree with asnis715's assessment on Bowie. He had shown flashes of brilliance (vs. UNC last year) prior to his demotion. GW's guards all seem to improve significantly as they progress through their college careers. Would not be upset to see Howard or Stoglin earn some minutes as well.

Petecard - the situation is not that dire in that we have an experienced PG in Bowie as it was when GV and EH entered the program and were required to start. Nor is nearly as risky as when DJ was forced to play PG. GW has options and flexibility as well as the chance to work the freshmen into the mix. I'd say that the season that was just concluded was kind of a worse situation prior to its start - sure we had experience in GV (2nd team all-ACC at the time), EH, LM, SM, CT and DG, but we had NO real 5 to our knowledge on the roster - just the hope that JW would live up to his backboard smashing youtube video. He did. We also did not know, although it was hoped for (and to be fair, predicted by Barno) that GV would have the monster season that he did. This year we have a solid 5, experienced if not all-world guards and depth. We do not know who is going to step up and play versus who is going to wilt on this team. So with no games played, season versus season, I think the terps are in about the same shape as last year based solely on what we knew prior to the season commencing.

Can't say that i think they'll have as successful as season as this past one but I really did not think that they would be remotely as successful as they were. One thing I am certain of - barring injury, our rebounding will improve markedly. I am sure the brutal lesson of the Mich St. game is lingering on them far more than it is on us. And I doubt DG will miss any games for academic reasons. We still need another big - if Pankey is healthy than that issue might be resolved.

certainly the outlook is much improved from two seasons ago where we knew going in that Dave Neal would be our 5.

Regards -

-hgr

Posted by: HughGRection | April 19, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Garo's standards for our program are to embrace mediocrity. Who thinks being in the Top 25 in recruiting is good enough? Is that good enough for UNC, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, UConn, Texas, Wisconsin, MSU, and on and on and on and on? No!

Let's see, the last 4 years have been great, right Garo? No Sweet 16's and plenty of time on the tournament bubble. Finally, this year, the seniors had a good conference run and STILL DIDN'T GET IT DONE IN THE DANCE.

Of course what do I know, I'm just the TI's resident imbecile.

Drink up!

Posted by: petecard | April 19, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Is that good enough for UNC, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, UConn, Texas, Wisconsin, MSU
----------------------

Wisconsin? Huh?

Zero Championships.
One final four.
Failed to get out of the first weekend 4 of the last 5 years.

sorry, that resume doesn't even compare to UMD's.

Throw Syracuse in there, but bringing up Wisconsin is a joke.

That is all, carry on....

Posted by: fushezzi | April 19, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

fushezzi hates Wisconsin.

Lactose intolerant I guess

Posted by: jpfterps | April 19, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with petecard: I am totally enthusiastic about some of these recruits, Pe'Shon in particular. I love the kid's energy and personality, something that is as vital as anything else to the team's chemistry with Greivis' departure.

And besides, it's been established by now that Gary does his best coaching developing players through his system, not catering to the style of a one-and-done phenom. I know those will pop up occasionally at Maryland, but give me a tried and true four-year Terp any day.

I have no interest in a team like Kentucky -- or even UNC many years -- that loses entire lineups every year to the draft. Not fun, not college basketball to me.

Posted by: scrappledog | April 20, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

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