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Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 02/ 7/2011

Talkin' Terps: Stoglin or Howard at point?

By Washington Post sports editors

As Liz Clarke pointed out earlier today, freshman point guard Pe'Shon Howard, who is averaging 18 minutes a game this season, was on the floor for 32 Saturday against Wake Forest, collecting eight assists with just one turnover. Terrell Stoglin played just 12 minutes against the Deacons but had five assists in that time.

Regular Terps Insider commentors Barno1 and Russtinator noted Howard's performance as well, with slightly differing views on what it means for the remainder of the season.

Barno1 said, "I've been arguing for Pe'Shon over Stoglin all year long and finally Gary made the switch. ... [Pe'Shon] is not quite a pure point guard but he's the purest one we have on the roster. And he's by far our best at seeing the court. If he's in the starting 5 the rest of the way, I am convinced we are tourney bound."

Russtinator added, "Definitely a great game from Pe'Shon. I think the biggest difference in the team right now is their deliberate penetration. It's something they weren't doing earlier in the year. I still think Stoglin is probably the better of the 2 at playing the point, but Howard certainly showed his abilities against Wake. He was confident, and wasn't fearful of being pulled if he made a mistake. If he can continue to play with that level of confidence the rest of the way, the Terps should be able to get to at least 10 ACC wins, and very well may get that 11th to make the ACC Tournament less of a necessity."

So what do you think? Is keeping Howard in the starting lineup the answer for the Terrapins during the stretch run? Is Stoglin a steadier influence and Howard best used as a change-up? Regardless, can Maryland get steady enough play at point guard to make a run at the NCAA tournament?

By Washington Post sports editors  | February 7, 2011; 11:45 AM ET
Categories:  Gary Williams, Men's basketball  
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Comments

Personally, I think Stoglin offers more. Pe'Shon was great, for sure, but it's Wake Forest. Let us not forget that in a mere 12 minutes, Stoglin himself had 5 dimes and 2/3 FG. Terrell is leaps and bounds ahead of anyone on the roster in the ball handling department, his decision making is suspect at times, but Pe'Shon has seemed to shrivel up and play scared against the big time ACC schools. Just an opinion, though.

Either way, after Longwood the next 2 games are massive. We need to win both, I think, otherwise its a serious uphill battle that would involve us either winning or making a deep run in the ACC Tourney.

Go Terps!

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | February 7, 2011 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Pe'Shon, please.

While both players have progressed significantly, the team plays more together and is more involved as team with PS at the point.

Though I do like Stoglin's play, he is not the giver that the position requires. He tends to want to make critical plays himself, resulting in the rest of team standing around & watching, and sacrificing key possessions at those critical moments - not smart basketball.

Posted by: richardj1 | February 7, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I have serious questions about both players, but for this team this year I prefer Stogs. One can't forget that Wake Forest is a very weak team and judging performance against the Deacons is not the best benchmark. These two freshmen have both improved as the season has progressed, but I have my doubts about whether either has the ability to be a major factor in the future. Having said that, it seems pretty clear to me that PG is the right position for both of them. We need a seriously good shooter at SG and I don't think either of these guys will develop as a shooter to the level that is needed. Next year I wouldn't be surprised that one of the two is relegated well down in the rotation and that may trigger a departure.

Posted by: petecard | February 7, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Russtinator added, "Definitely a great game from Pe'Shon. I think the biggest difference in the team right now is their deliberate penetration. It's something they weren't doing earlier in the year.

With Longwood looming, deliberate penetration would be desirable. It wasn't being done earlier in the year and that contributed to the pent up frustration.

Posted by: mydogsnameisdixon | February 7, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

As soon as Stoglin starts dribbling upcourt I yell, "He's gonna shoot it!". Nine times out of ten I'm right. I like the kid's confidence, but seriously, you are the point guard. You have to pass it now and then. I prefer Pe'Shon right now as he can penetrate and kick. Something Stogs has yet to show.

Posted by: aviscardo | February 7, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

With Longwood looming, deliberate penetration would be desirable. It wasn't being done earlier in the year and that contributed to the pent up frustration.

Posted by: mydogsnameisdixon | February 7, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Haha. I think most people understood what I was trying to say without the sexual reference. I don't know if others here have noticed, but since the UVA game, pretty much every set the Terps have run has involved the ball being dribbled inside the 3-point line. I think both freshmen are starting to figure out what they can and cannot do at this level, and they are both learning that they can get to the lane with regularity. Passing the ball around the perimeter in the hope of JW magically shedding a double-team is very rarely part of the team's offensive sets.

I do believe that Howard has the biggest upside at the point with Stoglin at the 2. These guys' careers may very well follow the pattern of Vasquez and Hayes with the one looking like the best point guard in the first two years (Hayes/Stoglin), but the other ultimately becoming the more polished, established point guard by their senior year (Vasquez/Howard). However, for right now, I think the offense runs a little smoother through Stoglin, despite his proclivity to launch unnecessary jumpers.

Posted by: Russtinator | February 7, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I think we all see it. Stoglin is more confident and a score first PG. P'Shon will pass more and doesn't become frustrated as quickly in the half court.

I think Terrell has better vision in the open court running the break, and as such I think is a better fit for the Terps traditional offense.

Course, our press (nor our half court defense) hasn't been as fearful this year, so we're not getting the running offense Gary likes.

So I guess you'd have to say they both bring strengths that can benefit this team. I expect we'll see both of them continue to get PT this year. Next year we'll have to see with Faust coming in. Having a big time SG coming in might mean P'Shon will lock down the job at the point.

Posted by: Matte | February 7, 2011 1:14 PM | Report abuse

@petecard -
They are both flawed players, but you have to be quite a pessimist to have "serious questions" about their future with our program. Both of them are putting up numbers comparable to what Greivis did (prorated by minutes played) as a freshman, and both have shown flashes of brilliance. Also, with Bowie and Tucker graduating and Stogs and Howard already playing around 20 mpg now, the chances that either one will be "well down in the rotation" next year are slim to none.

Back on topic, for now I like Howard as the starter and Stoglin as an energy guy off the bench depending on the matchup.

One relevant factor that isn't often discussed is Stoglin's lack of height and his corresponding vulnerability defensively. People seem to assume that Stoglin gets spotty PT because of his decisions with the ball, but I think it has more to do with getting burned on D. He'll always be somewhat of a liability because of his height, but he can improve his footwork and awareness enough to be a decent defender in time. I just don't know if it will be this year. Howard isn't a great defender yet but he's usually solid.

Posted by: Jeremy76 | February 7, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@petecard -
They are both flawed players, but you have to be quite a pessimist to have "serious questions" about their future with our program. Both of them are putting up numbers comparable to what Greivis did (prorated by minutes played) as a freshman, and both have shown flashes of brilliance. Also, with Bowie and Tucker graduating and Stogs and Howard already playing around 20 mpg now, the chances that either one will be "well down in the rotation" next year are slim to none.

Back on topic, for now I like Howard as the starter and Stoglin as an energy guy off the bench depending on the matchup.

One relevant factor that isn't often discussed is Stoglin's lack of height and his corresponding vulnerability defensively. People seem to assume that Stoglin gets spotty PT because of his decisions with the ball, but I think it has more to do with getting burned on D. He'll always be somewhat of a liability because of his height, but he can improve his footwork and awareness enough to be a decent defender in time. I just don't know if it will be this year. Howard isn't a great defender yet but he's usually solid.

Posted by: Jeremy76 | February 7, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

aviscardo is right, I'd be a lot more comfortable with Stoglin if he didn't shoot nearly every time he touched the ball. He's too short to play shooting guard, but that's what he is right now. He's probably the most confident player on the team aside from Jordan Williams, and that's great. But he doesn't have the same court vision Pe'Shon has, that ability to find the open man, or create the opening himself. You also have to take into accoutn Pe'Shon's size and strength advantage. The kid is ripped. And though it was just one shot, the clutch game-winner against college of charleston was a huge one that has kept our tourney hopes alive (if we lose that game, at this point we aren't even on the bubble).

Posted by: Barno1 | February 7, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Howard is more the sterotypical point guard right now as he dishes out more assists and causes less turnovers. But Stoglin is by far more dangerous given the opportunity to shoot and he seems better at penetrating but less likely to pass once he does so. I like having them both on the team battling over playing time. We need both types of point guards now since we are not a good shooting team from the perimeter. It scares me to think where we would be right now if Stoglin had gone elsewhere. This Terps team is not a good perimeter shooting team and Stoglin can definitely shoot (sometimes taking ill advised shots). Stoglin will mature and the bad decisions will become less frequent just like they did with Vasquez. I think Wake is not a good time to reflect on both of them. If you will recall against Duke the Duke defenders put extreme ball pressure against both of them and neither was able to penetrate or find Jordan Williams. Both of them were great recruiting gems overlooked by teams like Duke but the difference with the Terps as opposed to Duke or Kentucky is that they are pressed into service as freshmen. They would have to ride the bench for a few years at places like that but Gary has a great opportunity to mold them into all conference level players in four years time. The Terps need both of these guys splitting time at the point and some time on the court together. They will be the core of this Terp team for the next 4 years.

Posted by: torope | February 7, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Howard and Stoglin's defensive play I think that they both have a lot to learn. Both of them left Duke shooters open on the perimeter to help out with on the ball defense. In time they will learn not to leave their men and I think they both are good natural defenders. Howard is clearly the more physical defender but Stoglin is better than he gets credit for. Despite his lack of height I think he can play tight aggressive defense. That is why he came to Maryland in the first place. To play aggressive for an aggressive coach.

Posted by: torope | February 7, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey let's not get goofy that was Wake,not Duke or Carolina Stoglin and Howard are both going to be needed as the Acc tournament approach's and until the perimeter game improves it won't make a difference who's playing the point.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 7, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Remember the trouble zone defense gave the Terps at 'Nova and VT? We need a pass-first guy at the point if we're going to penetrate, kick out, or shoot over the zone. That's Howard.

Agree with aviscardo. You can see Stoglin's eyes glaze over right before he dribbles into the teeth of the defense, usually resulting in a brick, a block or a TO.

Posted by: RITerp | February 7, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Clearly Stoglin - with his quickness and shooting ability - has the higher upside. He forces the issue too much but I see him maturing out of that as he progresses. He was shooting really well earlier in the season and seems to have hit a wall. Hopefully he can regain that stroke which is def there in his game. He has made several nifty passes this season which leads me to believe the potential for him to be a distributor is there. One concern is that throwing entry passes into the post have been tough for him and may continue to be tough given his lack of size.

I like how Howard is steady and can pass the ball. Unfortunately, he is definately a lot slower than Stogs and clearly shooting is a big liability for him - though it was a welcome surprise to see him hit two 3s against Wake. Against good teams he has struggled to penetrate into the D. I just seem him more as a steady back up point in his career here - as long as Stoglin can play up to the level I think he's capable of playing.

Posted by: elowe2 | February 7, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Have not been able to see many of the games, but of the ones I have, Stoglin appeared to be a deer lost in the headlights. Howard seemed more poised. Hopefully it is just youth and Stoglin will get it together with more playing time.

Posted by: la_terp | February 7, 2011 8:16 PM | Report abuse

You're reporting on what Barno has to say about the Terps...really?

Posted by: paul6554 | February 8, 2011 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Stoglin is playing at a higher level at this time. I've been a Howard fan for a while, but honestly, he has a ways to go, some kids just take a little longer to develop. In the long run PeShon will probably pan out as the better player.... so what! Gary will get it done right and develop both to their potential.

In the words of Jim Mora "Tournament"?
Tournament? ..... Tournament? ...
not this year. Next year, of course.. and 2013 .. that's our shot

Posted by: davidboss | February 8, 2011 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Why not start both? Bowie's one good game shouldn't be enough for him to remain a starter. He can only play in transition, plus he is just much better of the bench. Pe'Shon and Stoglin can split running the point. I love having their ability to get to the basket in a half court set. They create a lot more offense than either one of them and Bowie.

Posted by: lavar609 | February 8, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why everyone is talking about this as if it's a zero sum. They're two different players and I really see Stoglin as more of a 2 guard.

I imagine next year the lineup will look something like this:

1 Howard
2 Stoglin
3 Mosely
4 Paulson
5 Williams

Howard right now is the closest thing they have to a true PG on the roster.

Posted by: feyd991 | February 10, 2011 3:35 AM | Report abuse

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