ACC Previews: Maryland Has a Math Problem

Kevin C. Cox

If someone was a locker room cancer, but scored nearly a third of your team's points, does losing him actually count as addition by subtraction? Or is it just subtraction, period? Regardless, the Terps are going to need several players to multiply their output this year (see what I did there?).

It's not often that you can say "addition-by-subtraction" when referring to a guy who averages 21 points and 3.5 assists per game, so I will relish the opportunity to say that very thing about my (and possibly Mark Turgeon's) least favorite player in the ACC last year: Terrell "17 field goal attempts per game" Stoglin. More problematic in my mind is the loss of his polar opposite, PG Sean Mosely (10 ppg, 5 apg, 2 rpg, 1 spg), who was a team leader in every sense of the word. Either way, the Terps lose about 40% of their scoring in those two guys, and scoring was one of the few things last year's team did reasonably well.

That being said, Maryland has some legitimately strong pieces returning for 2012-2013. Nick Faust ( 9 ppg, 4 rpg, 2 apg) figures to be a breakout player on the wing after an outstanding freshman year. 7'1" Alex Len showed real promise and could break out right alongside him. He will easily lead the ACC in blocks this year and has the length and athleticism to wreak havoc in an otherwise height deficient ACC. Senior forward James Padgett ( 9 ppg, 6 rpg) and Junior guard Pe'shon Howard (6 ppg, 4 rpg, 4 apg) provide experience and ability at their respective positions.
Look for the fifth spot in the starting rotation to be taken by one of the Terps two 4-star freshmen: Jake Layman or Shaq Cleare. Cleare is a soft-handed behemoth (6'9" 280) who is ranked as the 11th-best center in his class and would likely play in a 3 man rotation with Len and Padgett at the 4 or 5. Layman, an ectomophic 6'7" wing, is an excellent shooter who would play the 3. Maryland adds still more beef in 3-star 6'8" 265 pound Charles Mitchell and backcourt scoring with 3-star combo-guard Seth Allen.

Maryland had (arguably) the worst defense in the ACC last year. They went 17-15 (6-10) largely on the strength of their rebounding and Terrell Stoglin's occasional ability to hit a reasonable percentage of his many field goal attempts (he DID lead the ACC in scoring). It seems that rebounding and shot blocking will be there for this year's squad, but more important questions need to answered if the Terps want to improve. Can Pe'shon Howard handle the full time PG load in the absence of Mosley? Can Faust step up his game enough offensively to help replace a good chunk of Stoglin's output? Will Len emerge as more than just a shot blocker? Stay tuned...

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