With three teams that typically go with smaller lineups coming up – Virginia Tech Thursday, Virginia Sunday and Boston College a week from Tuesday – I expect Padgett to keep playing more minutes if he continues to be as productive as he was Saturday. Not 6 of 6 productive – “I don’t remember the last time I shot 6 for 6,” Padgett said – but certainly around 15 to 20 minutes a night.
Point guard shuffle
The revolving door at the point for the Terps continued Saturday – and will probably shift again next week as well. After starting freshman Seth Allen against Florida State – one game after benching Allen until the second half at Duke for being late to a team meeting – Turgeon went back to sophomore Nick Faust (City) Saturday.
Faust, who played well in the second half in Tallahassee (he would have had the game-clinching assist to Len on a lob had the 7-1 sophomore not blown a dunk), did some nice things early (all five of his points and all four of his assists in the first half) against the Demon Deacons before making some sloppy turnovers in the second half.
It gave Allen an opportunity for redemption (nine of his 12 points and five of his seven rebounds in the second half) after not playing well against the Seminoles. Combined with Jake Layman and Logan Aronhalt playing as well as they all season, Allen might have put himself back in the discussion for point guard going forward.
The problem is that neither Faust nor Allen are consistent enough taking care of the ball to give Turgeon, a former point guard whom Larry Brown once said went weeks without making turnovers, the kind of confidence he needs to settle on a player he can count on down the stretch. While Turgeon has been complimentary of Howard’s defense, the former starter is clearly a role player right now.
“Where we go at point guard, I don’t know,” Turgeon said Saturday. “I have a lot of confidence in Nick. Seth Allen played more point guard today than he has in a really long time. He did a nice job with it. Pe’Shon at the point was tremendous defensively today, especially in the first half, he did a great job on [C.J.] Harris.”
Translation: Allen is back in the discussion at point and Faust could be coming off the bench.
I made the rather bold prediction in Friday’s Terps Trio that sophomore swingman Dez Wells could become the next great Maryland player.
I still believe that could happen as long as Wells stays in College Park for another couple of years, but Saturday showed why the transfer from Xavier is still what coaches like to call a “work in progress”. As dynamic as Wells can be in taking a defensive rebound and then going the length of the court for a tough floater, he can be just as out-of-control.
In one sequence late in the second half, Wells lost the ball going for a drive even though he was virtually unguarded, stole the ball at the other end and banged a soaring tomahawk dunk off the back of the rim and into the courtside seats for the second time in a couple of weeks. (He did the same thing against North Carolina State.
By my count, he is 1-3 on his Dr. J imitiation during the ACC season.)
The Terps were up 30 at the time of Wells’ latest missed dunk, but Turgeon was obviously upset and took Wells out during the next timeout. He didn’t return and sat pretty glumly on the bench and left the court with the same look on his face. As much of a purist Turgeon is, he allows his players to have fun – but they had better finish a dunk like that.
Turgeon, who turns 48 on Tuesday, will likely give his team off a couple of days before getting ready for the trip to Blacksburg. Considering the way the Terps dismantled the Hokies (94-71) to open the ACC season back on Jan. 5, you have to think first-year Virginia Tech coach James Johnson will remind his team about that. It might not matter. Though the Hokies took North Carolina into overtime before losing Saturday, they have lost four straight and eight of their last 10. You can now go back to your Super Bowl countdown. How’s that jumbalaya coming?