Monday Terps Mailbags: Point guards, Evan Smotrycz, hot seats and the NIT

 


“Hey, over there. A mailbag.” (AP)

Welcome to the Monday Terps Mailbag. Submit your questions for next week’s Presumably Pre-NIT Mailbag via Twitter.

which of our “combo guards” can we actually make pg for the future(not Pe)? Seth,Faust,Melo,Roddy, future recruits (@EagleEyeTerp)

This will be one of the great offseason mysteries. Once summer rolls around, I’d expect the Terps to axe the revolving-door mentality and begin working exclusively with one or two players at the point. Romelo Trimble is still a year from graduating at Bishop O’Connell, so that’s a distant pipe dream at this stage. Roddy Peters is still transitioning from shooting guard to point, and is still widely considered a “combo guard.” How he progresses over the summer and rehabs from shoulder surgery could dictate this battle.

If you’re ruling Pe’Shon Howard out of the equation – his senior-year status also will be a source of great intrigue – then that leaves Nick Faust and Seth Allen as the incumbents. I don’t see any reason why Coach Mark Turgeon and his staff can’t single out one or both for extensive point guard training over the summer, simply because it’s been such an obvious point of weakness this season. Both Faust and Allen have gotten run at point guard over the past few games, even as Howard has started three straight, but all three have sizable gains to make in the offseason to consistently run the offense.

Howard still has the team’s highest assist-to-turnover ratio in ACC play (2.0 versus 1.3 for Faust and 1.1 for Allen), but his 32.9 percent turnover rate is way worse (25.9 percent for Allen, 22.2 for Faust, per Kenpom.com). Regardless of your disposition toward the junior, everyone agrees that something at that position has to change over the summer. Given the position’s inconsistent intrigue this season, it’s only fitting that none of us have any idea how Maryland will handle it once April rolls around.

what kind of impact can we expect Evan Smotrycz (sp) to have next year, especially when and if Alex goes pro? (@mrdanielgaray)

Perfectly fine spelling. The current running comparison for Smotrycz is Duke’s Ryan Kelly, insofar as they’re both stretch fours with deadly three-point accuracy. From various conversations with Maryland’s players and coaches, everyone seems to be high on the Michigan transfer’s potential contributions next season. I don’t think it’s entirely unreasonable to suggest that he’ll slot right into the starting lineup alongside Dez Wells and whomever else Turgeon deems worthy on that given day.

Smotrycz was a solid sixth man for Michigan, but how will he respond to having sat out an entire season? He’s anchored Maryland’s scout team during practices, playing against the regulars and generally frustrating them with his shooting range. The Terps could use his outside presence to create matchup headaches, much like Kelly or Miami’s Kenny Kadji have done this season.

do you think we are even consistent enough to put together anything in the NIT tourney? (@idontgiveaKREPs)

If the whole NCAA tournament thing doesn’t work out – barring an automatic bid through the ACC tournament, the Terps aren’t in line to go dancing – an NIT appearance will still be an interesting stretch, the first non-conference tournament they’ve played since Turgeon arrived in College Park. It might offer at least one more home game, albeit against a relatively weak mid-major or power-conference foe.

Turgeon suddenly has begun talking a lot about “building the program,” so additional game (assuming Maryland was able to continue to advance) might be helpful in that regard. Either way, I’ll wait until the NIT field is released to start evaluating Maryland’s chance of making an NIT tournament run.

we’ve only made the tourney once in past four years … Turgeon has to be on the hot seat right? (@BondJustin2)

Ignoring the fact that Turgeon has only been around for two seasons, there seems to be plenty of Twitter/comment/blogosphere buzz criticizing Turgeon and placing him on the so-called “hot seat.” Fans are frustrated, and justifiably so. By all accounts, this Maryland team has underachieved, by around four or five games (at Boston College, at Georgia Tech, at Virginia and probably both Florida State games). Now, there’s a difference between fans calling for Turgeon’s job and whatever internal momentum is necessary to actually oust him, immense buyout notwithstanding (somewhere around $10 million, to the best of my knowledge). I don’t see the latter happening any time soon. There’s plenty of internal support for Turgeon and trust that he’ll turn things around. So far, he overachieved with that hodgepodge group last season and underachieved with this talented but inconsistent bunch. Give him into next season before lighting any the torches.

For what it’s worth, here’s what Boz had to say on the matter in his weekly chat:

The Terps have shown enough progress this year with the 13 game win streak, the win over Duke and consistently high effort. Yes, Md has had a disappointing game, usually on the road, every time you start to think they are a Big Dance team. But Turgeon is a good coach. Maybe very good. The last thing he and Maryland need is a basketball “hot seat” with the switch of conferences. He (and his job) should be a focus of stability for the Terp athletic department, especially with the football problems.

That said, it would still be a good idea to beat Wake Forest this week even if that just leads to the NIT. And if you win one in the ACC Tourney, who knows.

what could Pe’Shon have possibly said to warrant a technical? (@sarah10021)

Not sure; press row was far from earshot. Turgeon said he received an explanation from the evening’s referee, but clearly wasn’t buying it. He’ll put in a call to the ACC and rewatched the film.

“I got the referee’s explanation, I don’t think,” Turgeon said, his voice trailing off with caution. “I’ve got to be careful. I can’t say. I’ll let the league try to handle it. The next foul put them in the bonus, seven fouls with 14 minutes to go, and we’re a team that likes to play without fouling. On the film, you can see Pe’Shon waving and being a kid, getting excited … I’ve got to be vague.”

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

sports

terrapins-insider

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments
Next Story
Alex Prewitt · March 11, 2013