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Posted at 9:11 AM ET, 02/ 7/2011

Terps 3-0 when Howard starts at PG

By Liz Clarke

Maryland Coach Gary Williams has experimented with a half-dozen variations on his starting lineup this season. But the one used in the Terps’ 91-70 romp over Wake Forest Saturday—with guards Adrian Bowie, Sean Mosley and Pe’Shon Howard complementing the front court of center Jordan Williams and forward Dino Gregory—is unbeaten, with a 3-0 mark.

Howard, the 6-3, 195-pound freshman point guard, was particularly impressive against Wake, dishing out a season-high eights assists (with just one turnover) in his 32 minutes work. Along the way, he scored nine points—including a 3-pointer just 25 seconds into the game that set an aggressive, emphatic tone early.

Coach Williams credited Howard with sparking the team’s energy out of the gate.

“If you bring energy in basketball, it is contagious,” Coach Williams said. “It’s a small area—94 feet--so, you pick up on that. It’s easy to pick up on that when you have guys like Pe’Shon at the start of the game, they way he was playing.”

The Terps also got a good boost from Bowie and freshman Hauk Palsson, who added 13 and a season-high nine points, respectively.

Howard, for his part, says he relishes the role of distributing the ball. “I don’t really dunk as well as Jordan or Dino,” he conceded, “so they make me look good.”

There’s also the matter of pride.

“I want the team to do well,” Howard said. “I don’t want it to seem like the seniors do their part, and Jordan [Williams] does his part, but the freshmen or point guards are letting us down. Terrell [Stoglin] and I put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We just want to come out and make the right plays and finish strong for the team.”

Maryland (15-8, 5-4) has won three of its last four games and is tied for fourth in the ACC standings (with Boston College, Virginia Tech and Clemson).

Of the seven ACC opponents remaining on the Terps’ schedule, four have winning records at the moment in league play: Boston College (5-4), Virginia Tech (5-4), Florida State (6-3) and North Carolina (7-1).


By Liz Clarke  | February 7, 2011; 9:11 AM ET
Categories:  Gary Williams, Men's basketball  | Tags:  Gary Williams, Maryland basketball, Pe'Shon Howard  
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Comments

Well, not to diminish Pe'Shon's 3-0 record as a starter, but I feel it should be pointed out that those 3 games were against NJIT, North Florida and Wake Forest, who have a combined 26-42 record right now.

But yes, he looked pretty impressive against Wake.

Posted by: NaptownTerrapin | February 7, 2011 10:25 AM | Report abuse

If this is the Pe'Shon that is going to show up the rest of the season, the Terps are in pretty good shape. However, if he reverts to the way he was playing earlier in the year, his hold on the starting PG job will be short-lived. Howard was aggressive, smart, and confident throughout the game. Whether that had to do with the starting nod, the 3-pointer, or just feeling more comfortable with 20+ collegiate games under his belt, it was something to behold. He has quickly turned into the player that I think every Terp fan thought was coming when he was recruited. He was strong with the ball, and looked to attack throughout the game. Earlier in the season, Howard was content setting the offense, and hanging out on the perimeter in case the set broke down. Against Wake, he was usually part of the set, and did not lack confidence or fear for getting pulled in the event of making a mistake.

Hopefull Howard can continue playing like this, but everyone needs to realize that he is still a freshman, and it will be up to Gary to decide who's got the hot hand.

Posted by: Russtinator | February 7, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Thing about freshmen is you don't get a lot of consistency out of them. So when asked 'is this the Howard or Stoglin that's going to show up from now on?', the answer is usually 'no.' Doesn't mean we won't see some outstanding performances. But it's not like predicting performances from Tucker or Bowie. And they're inconsistent enough as it is.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 7, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

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