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Posted at 7:47 AM ET, 02/14/2011

Could more joint minutes for Howard, Stoglin salvage the season?

By Liz Clarke

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.”

By Liz Clarke  | 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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Next: Talkin' Terps: Is it time for a youth movement?

Comments

I hope we can pull off a miracle run in the ACC tournament otherwise its NIT for us.

Posted by: sjp879 | February 14, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Gary should start Peshon at point and Stoglin as shooting guard. Bowie shows up every other game for about two minutes? Tucker is a disaster!

I don't understand what happened to Mosely? He should be scoring 15-20 a game while being the leader. Instead he always looks tired? Gary should just bench him and let him rest? He looks good against the bums but can't play in the ACC!

Williams is a good big man but he is not the second coming of Len Elmore! Elmore not only had double, doubles but was also a dominant defensive presence who intimidated and blocked shots.

I laugh when someone tells me Williams is going NBA this year? Granted, he may get a contract, but he will be another Chris Wilcox, buried at the end of someones bench.

This team is going to the NIT. It's time to cut our loses and let the freshmen including Parker get some game experience. Except for Dino, the upperclassmen are an embarrassment!

Posted by: fatlabriley2 | February 14, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I think if the Terps can win 4 out of their last 6, and win atleast 2 games in the ACC Tourney, they should have a pretty good chance of making the field of 64...However 1 of the 4 wins has to be against North Carolina

Posted by: babycas2000 | February 14, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if that would give us a pretty good chance, but it would give us a chance. If we go 9-7 in the league we would probably need to beat fsu, vtech, and unc to have any chance. I still think 10-6 plus at least 1-2 wins in the ACC tourney is what it will take. Need a win at Vtech or a clean sweep the rest of the way. Not going to be easy, but if there's one coach who can get it done it's Gary.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 14, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Formula for an NCAA bid:
10-6 in ACC (meaning they have to go 5-1 down the stretch)
1 win in ACC tourney (basically avoiding a bad loss)

Anything less and they'll likely have to win the ACC tourney (or at least beat Dook in the ACC tourney)

that should do it.

Posted by: putnam23 | February 14, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

10-6 in the ACC and a win against one of the bottom 4 in the 1st round of the ACC Tournament is not going to get it done. Duke, UNC, and probably FSU (depending on how they react to the loss of Singleton) are locks with one or two other bids up for grabs. Right now, BC is ahead despite their losses to Yale and Harvard because of the sweep of the Terps. VaTech is probably ahead even if the Terps win in Blacksburg tomorrow. Clemson is now a full game ahead of the Terps (and gave UNC a game in Littlejohn), despite the Terps victory over the Tigers in Comcast. That's 5 ACC bids there (assuming Clemson is out right now), and I don't think any selection committee member could give the ACC 6 bids this year and keep a straight face.

The Terps would need to finish a full game ahead of both BC and VaTech to even be on the board during Championship Week, which looks like 11-5 right now. If the Terps finish at 10-6 (assuming a loss at either UNC or at home to FSU), they are going to need another win to a quality opponent to separate themselves from the other ACC bubble teams. However, even if they finish at 11-5 and get a first round bye in the ACC Tournament, that means they're probably playing Friday against BC, VaTech, or Clemson, and a loss to one of those teams 3 days from Selection Sunday would probably also signal NIT.

There just aren't very many good senarios short of winning out or taking the ACC Tournament. However, with Stoglin and Howard appearing to be breaking through the freshman wall, they should be the ones starting and finishing right now over Tucker and Bowie.

Posted by: Russtinator | February 14, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Tucker and Bowie have not stepped up. At the beginning of the year, we knew that this needed to happen to have a successful year. GW has shown a lot of patience with the seniors. DG is the only one that has consistently performed. It is time to build for the future and give Stogs, Pe' and Hawk more playing time. If we make a run this season with these guys, all the better.

Posted by: larry31 | February 14, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Russ, remember 2005 George Mason had been beaten twice by Hofstra and they had similar credentials, yet GM got the bid. Don't assume that if we are both 10-6 that Boston College would get a bid over us simply bc they beat us twice. They have some really bad losses on their resume, we don't. Also keep in mind the tourney factors how you finish...if we were to finish 10-6 that would mean a 5-1 finish against some quality teams. 1-2 wins in the ACC tourney in such a scenario would probably get it done.

And yeah I know 10-6 is not likely. But it's not impossible either.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 14, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Hofstra did beat Mason at home in the CAA tournament (neutral), but lost to Wilmington in the title game. They had marquee wins at St. Johns and Lasalle, but lost at Towson and Northeastern.

Mason lost to Wake (in OT), Creighton, and Mississippi State, but did not have any bad losses in conference.

It was definitely a coin flip in 2006 between the two with the nod going to the team with fewer bad losses and the regular season conference title.

The story between the Terps and BC is a little different, because the Terps 2 losses were home and away, while Mason's second loss to Hofstra was on a neutral court. That December loss at home to BC, which didn't hurt nearly as much then as it does now, could loom large in a few weeks. If the Terps get swept by VaTech, given them their second season sweep by a fellow conference bubble team, it will be time to start purchasing NIT tickets.

Posted by: Russtinator | February 14, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Aren't there 68 teams in the field this year? Has someone factored that into the analysis? What about the fact that other conferences are down as well? I think there's a long ways to go here. There are a lot of games to be played. That's why this is so much fun!

Posted by: charles20001 | February 14, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

This is NOT my definition of fun.

Posted by: CYork1 | February 14, 2011 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"This team is going to the NIT. It's time to cut our loses and let the freshmen including Parker get some game experience."
-->Are you an idiot? Is that unrealistic to run the tables except for UNC (and even that isn't out of the realm of possibilities) then we are in the tourney. Go four and two and win one in the ACC Tourney I think we are in. Season is far from over son!

Posted by: break20 | February 15, 2011 12:34 AM | Report abuse

"Aren't there 68 teams in the field this year? Has someone factored that into the analysis? What about the fact that other conferences are down as well? I think there's a long ways to go here. There are a lot of games to be played. That's why this is so much fun!

Posted by: charles20001 | February 14, 2011 2:09 PM"
-->Yes, all the major outlets take this into consideration check out Eric's blog or Lunardi's they both have a field of 68

Posted by: break20 | February 15, 2011 12:54 AM | Report abuse

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