Monday Terps Mailbag: NCAA tournament chances, Nick Faust and spring football

February 25, 2013

(Associated Press)

Welcome to the Monday Terps Mailbag, a weekly installment featuring…something.

(Related note: Submit your questions via email toalex.prewitt@washpost.com or on Twitter. Thanks, friends.)

Recipe for tourney berth likely means getting the next two. at least splitting the last two. Then getting 2 ACC tourney wins? (@MSlone530)

It’ll probably take more than that. Losing to either Georgia Tech or Wake Forest, even given the Demon Deacons’ recent upset over Miami, won’t serve the Terps well. Then again, neither would losing at all for the season’s duration, especially given Maryland’s current place many spots outside the projected field.

A recipe for an NCAA tournament berth likely means getting the next two, getting the last two, then getting a couple of ACC tournament wins to ice the cake. Of course, that’s plenty to ask from a team that hasn’t won or lost more than two straight since conference play began, a team that can beat Duke one night and fall on the road at Boston College the next.

Plainly put, Maryland’s NCAA tournament chances are slim at this stage, but not impossible. The Terps just need to catch fire and rediscover some consistency.

Is it possible the Terps’ struggles in Boston are my fault? I’m 0-4 in attending Terps’ games (2 hoops/2 football) at BC. (@WheelsRI)

IT’S HIS FAULT. EVERYONE BLAME HIM.

will there be any more crazy uniforms for games this year? (@TheReallWoody)

It wouldn’t shock me if Under Armour rolled out something new for the home finale against North Carolina. Then again, the Terps repeated their white Maryland Pride uniforms against Duke. Stay tuned for hard-hitting, breaking uniform news.

there are rumors of players transferring like Pe’ and Shaq. What attrition is most likely to happen this offseason if any. (@CU_TAO)

I haven’t heard anything substantial about potential attrition, other than simply rumors as well. Each are different scenarios, though. Shaq Cleare has endured some rocky stretches during his freshman season, but he seems pretty content, at least judged by the limited interaction (think five to 10 minutes) we have for media availability. Turgeon also loves him, and has publicly called Cleare his favorite player to coach, and that was before Cleare turned in his best game of the season against Clemson.

Pe’Shon Howard presents a different circumstance. His numbers have dropped ever since ACC play began, and he’s never really regained the groove he found against weaker, non-conference opponents. Barring any injury or sudden change, it appears he’ll continue to play off the bench for the rest of his junior season. Whether that’s enough to warrant transfer consideration is another story. Speculating one way or the other would just be going off rumors.

Amazing game by Faust but why that ridic 3 in the middle of the 2nd half trying to go 1-1 with his defender? Maturity? (@EagleEyesTerp)

Yes, that was pretty silly, and Faust earned a quick hook from Turgeon after that one. (For those unaware, Faust brought the ball upcourt, toyed around with his defender, dribbled into the right wing and launched a three-pointer without directing Maryland into its offense.)

But Turgeon seemed content with taking that shot as an outlier – in the context of the Clemson game, it was – and focusing on his eight-to-zero assist-to-turnover ratio over Faust’s past two outings and his 7-for-10 shooting performance against the Tigers. Given that, it wouldn’t shock me if Faust got the starting nod at point guard for the time being.

Giving you another one…Are we better with Smo+Dodd or Len+Padgett (plus Chuck and Shaq obviously)? (@EagleEyesTerp)

Wow, a two-for-one from EagleEyesTerp. Never had that in the mailbag before.

Especially given that I’ve never seen Evan Smotrycz play outside of Maryland’s preseason scrimmage and Damonte Dodd is expected to be a four-year project at Maryland, I’ll take the Alex Len/James Padgett combination right now. Of course, even if Len departs for the NBA draft, it’ll be exciting to see what Charles Mitchell and Shaq Cleare do with one season under their belts, paired with a stretch-four in Smotrycz who, by all accounts, seems to be improving nicely in a scout-team role.

who are scouts looking at as the best potential NBA prospect after Len? Not this year of course, but young ones show flashes (@mrdanielgaray)

with his recent struggles (no shows in some games) is Len ready for the NBA? And will he declare for the draft? (@lfharman)

This comes up every week. I don’t think many NBA scouts would fancy Len ready for the professional level, but that won’t stop teams from drafting him high, tossing millions into his pocket and hoping he develops enough over the next few years. That’s totally different from asking whether Len will declare, because that’s a personal decision. The aforementioned millions might help sway him in that direction.

Any word on the starting QB from Spring Camp? Is it Brown’s job to lose again? (@Tim_VB)

The media will speak with Coach Randy Edsall and a few players today at 12:30 p.m., so expect some spring training news out of there. As for the quarterback job, C.J. Brown will likely be limited during spring practices, and with both Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe still rehabbing from ACL tears, I’d anticipate Ricardo Young getting the most run with the first team at quarterback this spring, setting up for a healthy battle in the fall. That being said, it’s Brown’s job to lose. He’s the incumbent captain.

Looking at the roster, Dustin Dailey could be the backup while Brown still works back to full strength. As for the third-stringer…Shawn Petty, anyone?

Monday Mailbag Q: What are they discussing in those little micro-huddles before each set of free throws? (@WastelandHound)

Postgame meal plans. Sometimes basketball.

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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Alex Prewitt · February 24, 2013