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Maryland basketball primer ...

  • For anyone needing a little look into Maryland's 2012-13 team:

    Maryland 2012-13 roster:
    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/team/roster/_/id/120/maryland-terrapins

    College Sports Madness' Maryland preview:
    Maryland had their ups and downs during Coach Mark Turgeon’s first season at the helm. There is some rebuilding to be done, but year two should go better than year one. And year one was not all bad as the Terrapins ended with a winning record. Point guard Pe’Shon Howard struggled with injuries last season and only played in14 contests. When he is healthy he is a great floor leader. On such a young team, the Terps will need Howard to be the leader on the floor that he has shown glimpses of over the last two seasons. As long as Howard can keep the team under control, stay healthy and not turn the ball over too much, Maryland will be able to build around him.

    2011-12 Record: 17-15, 6-10
    2011-12 Postseason: None
    Coach: Mark Turgeon
    Coach Record: 17-15 at Maryland, 266-174 overall

    Who’s Out:
    Terrell Stoglin led Maryland and the ACC with 21.6 points per game. Replacing that production will be nearly impossible. Stoglin was an efficient scorer both inside and out. He connected on 38.4 percent of his attempts from long range and got to the charity stripe an impressive 6.3 times per game. When the Terrapins needed a bucket, Stoglin would get the job done. Sean Mosley, who was second on the team in scoring with 10.2 points per game, is also gone. Like Stoglin, Mosley was a dynamic scorer who could do damage inside and out. The backcourt depth takes a hit with the loss of Mychal Parker and Jonathan Thomas. Berend Weijs is the only frontcourt player not returning.

    Who’s In:
    But even with all of those losses, this is a team that will have more depth than last season. The roster was littered with walk-ons a year ago and Coach Turgeon has more scholarship players around to work with this year. A couple are transfers that are sitting out this season, but a big group of six eligible newcomers will provide plenty of healthy competition. Logan Aronhalt, a transfer from Albany, is the most experienced option. The 6-3 senior averaged 13.8 points per game during his final season with Albany and has a ton of starting experience and experience is something this team needs. Point guard Conner Lipinski will look for some minutes this year, but shooting guard Seth Allen is more likely to earn quality minutes as a freshman. Allen is a tough defender and a very good athlete. Jake Layman is a versatile wing who could step right into the starting small forward spot. At 6-8 he has great size for that position. He will need to add some more muscle to his 190 pound frame before he will be a dynamic scoring threat, but for now he can shoot over most opposing defenders. Charles Mitchell will be another tough post player and Shaquille Cleare is widely regarded as the best recruit coming to Maryland this season. Cleare, a 6-9, 270 pound center, is expected to play starter minutes right away and possibly even step right into a starting role. He is a true post player who will stay in the paint and make things happen on both ends of the floor. Unlike many freshman big men, Cleare is physically ready to compete in the ACC immediately.

    Who to Watch:
    Cleare will have to compete with another former top prep recruit in Alex Len for minutes in the post. Len missed the first ten games of his freshman season while awaiting word from the NCAA. After that he played quite well until the grind of the ACC wore him down. On the year he played in 22 games, starting 11 and averaged 6.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. At 7-1 and 225 pounds, Len is a major presence on both ends of the court and that year in the program should do wonders. Len is a possible lottery pick in the NBA Draft and sooner or later he will live up to those lofty expectations. James Padgett spent most of last season as a starter. The 6-8 power forward is a bruiser in the paint who is a fine rebounder, especially on the offensive end. Most of his scoring comes from easy buckets resulting from his knack for hitting the offensive glass, but he also does the dirty work in the paint and that will make life easier for Len and Cleare. John Auslander, a former walk-on, will provide more depth in the frontcourt. If Len and Cleare can live up to their potential, this will be an amazing frontcourt. Having a tough power forward like Padgett makes the unit all the more dangerous.

    Final Projection:
    Say what you will about Stoglin and his 16.7 shots per game, which more than doubled any other player on the roster last year, but somebody has to replace his scoring. Even if the departure of Stoglin ends up to be an addition by subtraction situation, Maryland will still miss his ability to create shots with the shot clock winding down. Nick Faust will likely be the new go-to-scorer. As a freshman last year the 6-6 guard averaged 8.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists. He can do a little bit of everything, but a little bit of scoring may not be enough. Faust will need to be more consistent with his shot to emerge as an extremely dangerous scoring threat, but he will use his size to attack the basket. With Howard and Aronhalt and the freshmen joining Faust, the backcourt has plenty of depth. However, the big time stars are in the frontcourt for now and this group will need to play through the post and not hoist up shots from the perimeter. Not having Stoglin will at least help in that regard.

    Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

    Projected Starting Five:
    Pe’Shon Howard, Junior, Guard, 6.5 points per game
    Nick Faust, Sophomore, Guard, 8.9 points per game
    Jake Layman, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
    James Padgett, Senior, Forward, 8.8 points per game
    Alex Len, Sophomore, Center, 6.0 points per game

    Madness 2013 NBA Draft Rankings:
    #14 Alex Len

    Madness 2012 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
    #33 Shaquille Cleare
    #70 Jake Layman
    #96 Charles Mitchell

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