It's been interesting to watch this year's Maryland team unfold under first-year coach Mark Turgeon
I agree with his assessment that it's actually been three teams - the one that played the first nine games without Pe'Shon Howard and Alex Len, the one that played against Radford with Howard but without Len, and the one that played the last two games with the pass-first sophomore point guard and the 7-foot-1 freshman center.
Here are some things to consider as the Terps go forward, with their Atlantic Coast Conference season about to start a week from Sunday at North Carolina State after what should be a more than competitive warmup against Cornell Tuesday. (Though the Ivy League isn't what it was a couple of years ago, you know they're going to have a pretty high basketball IQ.)
* Howard will need to be more of a scoring threat just to make teams not sag in on Len or slough off onto Terrell Stoglin. After going 3 of 6 in his return against Radford, Howard took only three shots (making them all) against Albany and two (making one) against Samford in Saturday's 75-63 win. He has been effective getting to the basket but will need to be more of an offensive presence on the nights that Stoglin is off.
* As hard a worker as Turgeon says Berend Weijs is in practice, the senior forward is something of a defensive liability because of his lack of quickness and strength. He got beaten badly on drives Saturday and as solid as the Samford big men were, they are not what the Terps are going to face in the ACC.
* The Terps should hope that Sean Mosley's recent shooting slump is not a return to his junior year. After making only four of 16 shots in his first two games, Mosley was 19 of 33 in his next four. Since shooting 5 of 8 in a win over Notre Dame, the senior guard has shot 33 percent (13 of 39) in his last six, including 3 of 9 Saturday. For all the former St. Frances star does in terms of defense, hustle and other intangibles, he has to hit shots too.
* Turgeon's reputation for playing strictly halfcourt, grind-it-out offense is inaccurate. He had to do that at times at Wichita State and Texas A&M, and certainly had to take the air out of the ball (or at least try) without Howard in the lineup. But now that Howard is back and Len has shown how he can both start and finish fast breaks, the Terps are going to have that component with players like Stoglin, Nick Faust and Mychal Parker running the wings. Turgeon's background of coaching under Larry Brown and particularly Roy Williams, who love to run that North Carolina secondary break (with the trailers finishing) is starting to come to the forefront.
* How good would the Terps be if Jordan Williams had stayed? You never know what might have transpired, but the 6-10 forward would have been a perfect complement to Len, whose offensive skills are better right now that Williams. I also bet that Williams might want a redo on his decision to go pro. He hasn't suited up yet for the woeful New Jersey Nets because of what is being called dehydration and what NBA scouts say is being out of shape. Don't be surprised to see Williams in the D-League soon with the Nets having a working relationship with a team from Springfield, Mass., not far from Williams' home in Connecticut.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times