This morning, still brooding over the Terps loss to Florida State, I was feeling a little more creative than usual. I decided to ask the Twittersphere for help on this article (without actually telling them). After all, the fans know best! :
#Terps fans, what do you guys think the team can do to never have last night happen again? Give us your solutions
— TerrapinStationMD (@terpstationmd) January 10, 2013
Pretty simple question, really. What can we do to prevent this travesty from happening again? The answers I got pointed to a few things:
@terpstationmd get a real point guard
— James Donovan (@4thgearCS) January 10, 2013
Now with this one, I have a hard time agreeing with the position that Pe’Shon isn’t a point guard. Howard is about as pure as they come when it comes to passing. His 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio is a very good one indeed, but the one thing he really lacks, which was glaringly obvious during this game, is that he has no offense.
When he is turning it over, there is literally not much else that Howard can do on the court. He’s not an elite defender, and his shot almost never falls, so that begs the question: what is it that you do? Howard can pass, but he needs to become more formidable on the offensive end. Snaer ate him up for 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, and Howard couldn’t respond.
@terpstationmd get the ball inside to Alex Len at the minimum of 50% of trips down the floor.
— Shell Shocked (@ShellShockUMD) January 10, 2013
The usage rate of Alex Len is always going to be a testy one for Terrapin fans. On one hand, Len should have gotten the ball a ton against a team like Florida State down low, and early on the Terrapins actually wanted to get him the ball. Unfortunately FSU was jumping the route (much like a cornerback) and forcing turnovers whenever our guards tried to feed him down low.
Len probably could have had 6 or 7 more shots had he not done two things: 1.) Turned the ball over five times and 2.) had his routes jumped by Florida State. The Terps have to get better at not being sloppy in feeding him the ball, but they are in fact trying to feed him the ball. Still, Len should be getting the ball on the block every play, and the offense should work through him, rather than eventually getting him the ball.
@terpstationmd It is unavoidale IMO. This is what happens when Freshmen get major minutes. As frustrating as it is, they have to learn
— Michael Guise (@MikeG2511) January 10, 2013
Ah, the age issue pops up again. This one is pretty simple: the Terrapins are a young team, and young teams turn the ball over and get a little rattled by tough teams like Florida State. Seth Allen’s turnovers were bred from rushing to the basket a bit too much and trying to make a highlight reel play. Rather than move the ball around the perimeter waiting for a chink in the armor against FSU’s defenders, Allen tried to thread passes that had no chance of making it there or drove into the lane when there was no space to do so. That can’t happen in the future.
@terpstationmd leave the ACC? …wait….
— Schmitty (@pghschmitty) January 10, 2013
@terpstationmd Pe' had a bad game, but u gotta ride or die w him. U need Allen off the ball, he's a scorer..tons of turnovers were unforced
— Steven Ulrich (@StevieU22) January 10, 2013
Agreed. Allen is simply too valuable off the ball, given the way he shoots, to not have Pe’Shon on the court. The Terrapins would end up with a Stoglin type deal all over again if they didn’t have Howard at the point (I.E. Allen would attempt a whole lot of shots, some good and some bad). Howard is almost a throttling valve to Allen.
@terpstationmd Not turn the ball over 18 times…
— Josh Kail (@THATJoshKail) January 10, 2013
The turnover issue comes again. It’s getting a little ridiculous how much everyone on the team is guilty of trying risky passes and reckless drives to the rack.
@terpstationmd PUT ME IN COACH IM READY TO PLAY
— Testudo (@Drunk_Testudo) January 10, 2013
Drunk turtles are merely ineffective against rough and tough-type basketball.
@terpstationmd get the players into a rhythm. Don't sub every stop of the ball.
— Andrew Kreisberg (@akreisberg) January 10, 2013
This was another interesting proposition. Is Maryland’s depth a good thing or too much of a good thing? Plenty of players like to get into rhythm during a game and would prefer not to sub out on and off at all times. Nick Faust strikes me as a guy whom, when given consistent minutes, will end up with a favorable stat line.
On the other hand, I really do think the Terrapins options and versatility will be a huge boon for them later in the season when more experience is gained. I think being eight deep gives them more looks, and even though the shots weren’t falling this game, they will more often than not.
@terpstationmd not turnover ball 18-20 times
— dwayne britton (@terps174life) January 10, 2013
@terpstationmd keep Karl Hess out of Comcast
— Chris Simpson (@Mr_Schwab) January 10, 2013
As much as I’d like to blame it on the refs, who missed a couple foul calls and more than a few hacks down low, this loss is on the Terrapins erratic and sloppy play.
So there you have it folks, from the Twitter mailbox to the website, those are really the things the Terrapins need to work on. If we realize it, surely Mark Turgeon and Co. realize it and can rectify some of these situations, right? The bottom line, really, is that no one should panic over a home loss to a bad team. These things happen, and it doesn’t change the fact that when Maryland is good, they’re very good. We just have an Achilles heel or two…or 18.
Thanks to everyone for your Twitter responses!