It’s hard to find fault with a player who bails you out of so many games and leads the ACC in scoring. But as much as Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon relies on Terrell Stoglin to supply the Terps’ competitive fire and offensive bursts, Turgeon has also been trying since preseason practice began to broaden his sophomore shooting guard’s approach to offense and, specifically, get him to create scoring opportunities for his teammates, as well.
The progress has been slow, as Sunday’s 79-74 loss at N.C. State attests.
On one hand, Stoglin led all players with 25 points and hit the 3-pointer that made it a one-possession game with 4 seconds remaining after Maryland fell behind by 14 in the second half.
On the other hand, Stoglin took 16 shots and dished out zero assists, slashing past a willing recipient, 7-1 center Alex Len, on several forays to the basket.
“We’re not going to win if he doesn’t trust his teammates more,” Turgeon said of Stoglin afterward. “We’re getting better. He has got to trust Alex, because Alex can make a play.”
That said, Turgeon knows that Stoglin supplies the competitive spirit that has pulled the Terps out of so many close games this season. And the coach said he viewed Sunday’s defeat as a step forward.
No doubt, Maryland would have lost the game by double-digits six weeks ago, when the Terps were muddling through without a true point guard and the services of Len, who registered his first double-double Sunday (12 points, 11 rebounds).
“As a team we really grew up tonight,” Turgeon said. “We just had that one stretch (a second-half defensive lapse that allowed the Wolfpack to go on a 13-2 run). It’s just mental toughness, physical toughness, competing and wanting it more.”