Maryland lost a tough opener to Connecticut last Friday and Dez Wells was limited to 13 points and six assists on 3-of-10 shooting and six turnovers as the emergency point guard when Seth Allen went down with injury.
Head coach Mark Turgeon has the option of starting freshman Roddy Peters at point guard, but that would mean him learning through his mistakes on-the-fly.
CSN Baltimore’s Daniel Martin broke down the Terps dilemma quite well in how to approach the Wells situation and I happen to agree with his take:
The problem isn’t that Wells is the point guard. The problem is that Wells isn’t the shooting guard. In the same way that it’s not a problem that the stove is a countertop, the problem is that it’s also not a stove anymore.
Wells has shown in the past that he works best when playing off the ball, taking passes off screens for shots or creating space when getting into the lane. With the ball in his hands to begin every possession, that possibility is negated by default.
Martin goes on to note that Nick Faust took 18 shots in the loss and how Maryland would probably like more of those shots to go to Wells.
The good news for Maryland is that they have until December 4th’s ACC/Big Ten Clash at Ohio State to really figure things out. Their next four games are at home and Oregon State — and their home loss to Coppin State — is the only high-major opponent.
We’ll probably see some different lineup combinations and more of Peters playing together with Wells in the backcourt. A 1-2 punch of Wells and Faust taking the shots with Jake Layman and Evan Smotrycz as floor spacers is Maryland’s best offense.
The injury Stephen Zimmerman suffered on Saturday will keep the star UNLV freshman out for at least a week, a source told NBC Sports.
The injury is not thought to be serious, however. Zimmerman may be kept out for longer as a precaution, but that’s a result of the Runnin’ Rebels being in a situation where the rest of their regular season is relatively meaningless.
They’re not getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament regardless of how they finish out league play. With back-up center Ben Carter out with a torn ACL, it’s more important to make sure that Zimmerman, who is averaging 10.6 points and 9.1 boards this season, is totally healthy for the Mountain West tournament.
That tournament, mind you, will be played at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.
So the Runnin’ Rebels, regardless of how poor they’ve played this season, will always have a chance to land an automatic bid.
Anyway, the more interesting aspect of this story is how Zimmerman injured the knee. It was a completely avoidable play that came after the whistle, but I’m not sure it was what you would call a “dirty play”. You tell me:
With a little more than three minutes left on Monday night, No. 24 Texas held a 57-51 lead on No. 3 Oklahoma in Norman as Jordan Woodard struggled again and Buddy Hield failed to find the rhythm that he had throughout the first three months of the season.
At that point in the game, Hield was 4-for-14 from the floor with 15 points and four turnovers. He had just missed a pair of wide-open threes
“I couldn’t make a shot,” Hield said after the game. But that changed down the stretch. First, Hield finally got a three to drop. On the next possession, he got all the way to the rim and scored. On the following two possessions, he was fouled on a drive to the rim and hit four free throws. And after missing a pull-up jumper, Hield did this:
“I told coach I wanted the ball,” Hield said, “I saw Lammert coming to bite, so I pulled up.”
“It’s all money.”
Hield is already the favorite to win National Player of the Year, and this performance is only going to help his cause further. Think about it like this: Buddy was not good on Monday night, at least according to his (admittedly lofty) standards. But he still finished with 27 points and shook off a cold shooting night just in time to take over down the stretch.
Now think about this: Hield’s head coach has enough confidence in him to hand him the keys in the final minutes despite the fact that he’s struggling and on a team that has two other players that Lon Kruger trusts on game-winning possessions. Think about it. When Oklahoma beat West Virginia at the buzzer, it was Jordan Woodard that the play was drawn up for. When they beat LSU, it was Isaiah Cousins that got the rock on the final possession while Hield was used as a decoy. .
Want to talk about coaching luxuries?
Kruger has three guards that can shoot, penetrate and score, and penetrate and kick, and one of them is the National Player of the Year that doesn’t mind being used as a decoy.