Nick Faust has made less than one-third of his three-pointers this season and entered Wednesday night’s matchup against Florida State hampered by back spasms, which had limited him to five minutes against Virginia Tech the previous weekend.
Yet Faust delivered one of the most efficient games of his sophomore year against the Seminoles, notching 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 4 of 6 on three-pointers. He also committed zero turnovers in 21 minutes, and said Friday that his back is “close to 100 percent.”
“I feel a lot better,” Faust said. “I even did some weightlifting today. It was better.”
The injury, Faust said, stemmed from a deep bruise on his shoulder blade, which kept acting up. Consistent back cracks throughout the game will help keep the swingman loose.
Faust has started 13 of 15 games for the Terrapins this season, averaging 9.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 23.4 minutes per game. After racking up a season-high five turnovers against IUPUI on New Year’s Day, Faust seemed far more stable against the Seminoles.
“Nick didn’t seem completely healthy to me the other night, but he was more under control, which I liked,” Coach Mark Turgeon said. “I thought the one that was goaltended that wasn’t called, he made a nice move, good pace about him. The other thing was he tried to ref instead of run back on defense and they made a three-pointer on the other end.”
Having Faust as a viable offensive weapon should alleviate the scoring burden on Alex Len and Dez Wells. Turgeon said the Terps will “lean a bit heavier on Nick as we go forward,” which could mean opening up the offense and allowing Faust more dribble-drive scenarios or focused set plays.
By and large, Maryland has remained fairly healthy this season. Faust’s absence against the Hokies, when the Terps still won by 23 points, was the only sizable limitation by any members of their 10-man rotation. The other nine contributors have each appeared in all 15 games.