Sunday, October 30, 2011

Terps Notebook - Scrimmage, Pe'Shon, Cleare, Len

Maryland opened Saturday's men’s basketball practice to the media and a smattering of fans to watch drills and a 20-minute scrimmage. Quotes and my observations below…

* Neither Pe’Shon Howard (broken foot) nor coach Mark Turgeon ruled out the possibility of a medical redshirt season for the sophomore guard. The school announced on Thursday that Howard had sustained an injury – specifically a fractured bone in his right foot - and could miss 10-12 weeks. Turgeon said it was unclear if surgery was required and the point guard underwent an MRI on Saturday.

Howard, who was rather chipper when speaking with the media, said pain in his foot lingered for about a week and he continued practicing until the ache went from “annoying” to something more.

“It wasn’t too bad and then one day I was walking to class and I was like I can’t take it,” said Howard, who made his way around the Comcast Center with the aid of crutches.

If Howard is back after 10 weeks, he is back on the court just prior to start of ACC play. Maryland’s conference opener is at NC State on January 8.

Should he be out the full 12 weeks out, Howard would sit out 3-4 ACC games and 16-17 games overall. The longer he sits, the more sitting out the season comes into play.

“If I redshirt, it gives me another year in college. I love College park, I could be here forever,” Howard said.

“If the team needs me to come back, I’ll definitely be ready for that. If the coach thinks I should sit out depending on how the team is going, I’m also up for that.”

With Howard sidelined, Terrell Stoglin takes over at point guard. Turgeon said freshmen Nick Faust will serve as the backup and Sean Mosley could see time at point.

“Pe’Shon was a big blow. Pe'Shon was practicing well, playing well. He was our leader,” Turgeon said. That puts a lot on Terrell. Now Terrell is the only guy that [can] run our team [and] he’s got to score. Nick has to be the backup point, puts a lot on his shoulders.”

* Not that he has a tremendous amount of options, but Turgeon said Stoglin and Mosley would be in the opening game starting lineup with Faust expected to join them.

The frontcourt spots remain open, though Berend Weijs and Ashton Pankey began the scrimmage on the same team with the three perimeter players while James Padgett and Mychal Parker subbed in. Padgett and Weijs alternated playing with the walk-ons, none of whom played on the same side as the primary players.

* Faust’s 15 points, which included two 3-pointers, led all scorers. Weijs scored 13, most coming while playing with the walk-ons. Stoglin scored eight, Parker and Padgett with six each.

* Mosley failed to score, appearing hesitant with his shot. Before we start thinking it is the 2010-11 season all over again, Turgeon chalked the performance up to a bad day and said Mosley has been “shooting the ball well in practice.”

“He is so aware of everything, sometimes maybe he needs just to be maybe a little more of a jerk and just think about himself,” Turgeon said Mosley, the Terps lone four-year player.

As a junior, Mosley was in an offensive funk throughout the season as his shooting percentage plummeted to 41.3 percent.

*Shaquille Cleare, the highly touted 2012 recruit who has verbally committed to join Maryland next season, was on campus for an official visit. The 6-9 center and Houston native watched from the sideline and spoke at length with Turgeon during the scrimmage as the Terrapins assistant coaches directed the on-court play.

*As for 7-1 Ukrainian center Alex Len, the waiting game continues as the NCAA clearinghouse sorts through the matter.

"We haven’t heard anything. We keep thinking its going to be that day, then the next day," said Turgeon. "We’re hoping for Monday. If we don’t hear anything, we’ll hope for Tuesday. The good thing is they are being diligent. As long as they get the right answer in the end is what matters. Hopefully Monday."

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