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 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.