Could more joint minutes for Howard, Stoglin salvage the season?
In the search for his most effective line-up, Maryland Coach Gary Williams has tended to swap his two freshman point guards in and out, with Pe’Shon Howard coming in to relieve Terrell Stoglin or, more recently, bringing Stoglin off the bench to spell Howard.
But both were on the floor together for several stretches in the Terps’ 76-72 loss at Boston College Saturday. And it translated to what few bright spots there were in a deflating performance, with each scoring 14 points and Stoglin dishing a team-high seven assists.
“I think me and Pe’Shon played good—especially when we were on the court together,” Stoglin said afterward. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. It was a good spark; but it wasn’t enough.”
So in the six games that remain for Maryland (16-9, 5-5), now seventh in the ACC standings, expect more joint play from the freshmen who are likely to form Maryland’s nucleus next season and less of the seniors who disappeared in critical stretches in the game at Conte Forum.
“It’s something to look at,” Coach Williams said, asked about the prospects of playing Stoglin and Howard together more. “Both guys are playing well. There are times we want ‘em both on the court, because of the way we’re playing.”
The day before the loss at Boston College, Coach Williams spoke about the need for the seniors to take charge and convey the urgency of this critical juncture in the season—if only to end their own college careers on a positive note.
“The obvious thing is that this is their last chance that they get to play,” Williams said. “Hopefully they show that by how they play. It’s not about having a team meeting or anything….They have to be the leaders in terms of the energy.”
They weren’t. And the result was a season-sweep by the Eagles, picked in the pre-season to finish 10th in the ACC standings.
While senior forward Dino Gregory led the Terps with a modest 15 points, his backcourt mates Adrian Bowie and Cliff Tucker contributed little on offense (scoring five and zero points, respectively). Bowie was 2-of-8 from the field; Tucker, 0-of-4, while turning it over three times in 15 minutes. Far more costly was their inability to contain the Eagles’ Reggie Jackson, who exploded for a career-high 31 points.
The defense on Jackson was worse in the second half than the first. Jackson scored 13 in the first half on 5-of-6 shooting. He scored 18 in the second half (more than any Terp managed the entire game), making half of the Eagles basketball (seven of 14) in the period.
While the Terps led by three at the break and by five early in the second half, they fell yet again to a team that showed more heart down the stretch.
Said a clearly disappointed Coach Williams afterward: “You’re an athlete! You try to have the idea that if you’re involved in this game today, it’s all that matters.”
| February 14, 2011; 7:47 AM ET
Categories: Gary Williams, Men's basketball | Tags: ACC standings, Boston College, Maryland basketball, Pe'Shon Howard, Terrell Stoglin
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