Previewing Maryland Basketball: The Guards


We’re a few days from the first meaningful Maryland basketball game of the season, so it’s about time we do a little preview of the upcoming year to be for the Terps. Over the next few days, we’re going to look at the different positions as collective units, starting today with the guards.

The Starters:

Coming into the year, it looked like Pe’Shon Howard (6’3″) and Terrell Stoglin (6’1″) would be the starters at guard for sure. But with Howard out 10-12 weeks with a broken foot and rumors of a redshirt season for the point guard, Nick Faust (6’6″) now enters the fold, moving Stoglin down to the point. Howard, who started eight games last season, may still return for ACC play and they’d love to have him back – MVPe’ averaged 5.4 points and 3.2 assists per game as a freshman and was sixth in the conference with a 1.89 assist-to-turnover ratio.

So for now, Stoglin will start at the point. An All-Conference freshman selection last season, the lefty averaged 11.4 points per game and shot 35.9% from beyond the arc but averaged over two turnovers per game in his first season. He’s a great scoring talent, but tends to try to do too much – taking on three or four defenders at once, a decision that often ends in a poor shot attempt or a turnover. Having him manning the point is a little troublesome, but he is one of the only guys on this team who can win (or lose) a game for Maryland.

More after the jump.

At the two, the freshman Faust will likely be the starter. He was a four-star prospect coming out of City in Baltimore, averaging 22 points and 6.5 rebounds per game as a senior and 19.7 and 5.3 as a junior. It’s extremely early in his Maryland career, with only Maryland Madness and the exhibition against Northwood in their view, but he’s impressed already. With flashy dunks, athletic showcases and solid three point shooting to go along with great defending, he certainly didn’t hurt his chances at starting as a freshman. He will likely serve as a secondary scoring option to Stoglin, as well as No. 2 defending optiion on the wing after Sean Mosley.

Speaking of Mosley, he will likely see time at the two and maybe even the one, and could even be counted as a guard, but we’re not going to talk about him until tomorrow.

The Back-Ups:

Uh, nobody, except Mosley, who we’ll talk about tomorrow, or Faust if Howard comes back.

The Walk-Ons:

We  got plenty of those. Jonathan Thomas (6’2″), Arnold Richmond (5’11”), and Jon  Dillard (5’11”) are the non-scholarship guards on the roster. Thomas, the only walk-on we saw against Northwood, is a former All-Gazette player from Frederick. Richmond was an All-PG County player at Crossland, and averaged 18 points per game over his last two years in high school. Dillard is a senior, and spent the last three years on the Maryland club team.

The Future:

There’s one commitment in the 2012 class that plays guard, and that’s Seth Allen (6’2″), he’s a three star point/shooting guard from Fredericksburg, Virginia. Considered a sleeper, Allen had a strong finish to his junior year and shot up recruiting boards.

Also on the horizon is Torian Graham (6’4″), a four-star shooting guard who was previously committed to NC State.

The Verdict:

The loss of Howard really hurts this unit, because they’re now lacking a true point on scholarship. Stoglin playing the point doesn’t really maximize his positive aspects of his game and doesn’t really minimize the negative aspects of his game. Still, Stoglin and Faust are immensely talented and can each go for 20 on any given night. There’s not much depth here at all (funny, we were worried about the inside depth before the season started), even if you factor in Mosley, you’re still going to see walk-on playing time.

Grade: B-. With a trigger happy point and a freshman starting, this unit needs to roll down on the turnovers by quite a bit, but has the potential to score a ton of points. Beyond them, there’s someone who’s starting at forward, and a whole mess of walk-ons.