Mark Turgeon’s second season at Maryland looks like it should go much more smoothly than his first.
And, at the very least, it is quite obvious that he has the program heading in the right direction.
Turgeon returns sophomores Alex Len, a 7-foot-1 center that many expect to have a major impact in the ACC after missing 10 games last season with eligibility issues, and Nick Faust, a talented wing. With an incoming class that includes guards Seth Allen and Sam Cassell Jr, forward Jake Laymon and bigs Shaquille Cleare, who is very good friends with the Harrison twins, and Charles Mitchell, the Terps actually have some promising talent on their roster.
The issue is going to be at the point guard spot.
Terrell Stoglin was kicked out of school and eventually entered the NBA Draft. And while Stoglin’s attitude and style of play — he was a shoot first, second and third point guard — may end up being addition by subtraction, that will only be the case if Turgeon has another veteran ball-handler on the roster. He does, but it is in the form of Pe’Shon Howard, who is recovering from a torn ACL.
Turgeon told Adam Zagoria that Howard appears ahead of schedule on his recovery:
Turgeon said he expects guard Pe’Shon Howard to be fully healed from his ACL tear in time for the season opener Nov. 9 against Kentucky at Barclays Center.
“He started running straight lines and stuff,” Turgeon said. “He’s way ahead of schedule. He should be 100 percent when practice starts.”
Howard figures to play some point guard, along with Allen, Cassell and Nick Faust.
“I don’t know who our point guard is going to be, he’ll have a shot at it,” Turgeon said of Howard.
Having depth — even if they are freshmen — at the point guard spot is nice, but that doesn’t change the value of having a veteran floor leader ready to play. Yeah, yeah, I know, Coach Cal, Kentucky, whatever. With all due respect for Allen and Cassell, there is a reason they aren’t starting over Ryan Harrow at Kentucky next season.
If Howard can continue his recovery, I don’t think it is crazy to say that Maryland has a chance to make a run at a tournament spot this season.