College Park-Maryland coach Mark Turgeon may be unsure of his lineup for the 2012 season, but he made one thing clear to the media who met with the second-year coach after today’s intrasquad scrimmage.
Whoever is going to be out on the floor for his squad is going to play exceptional defense.
“I think if we stay healthy, we’re much better defensively,” Turgeon said. “It’ll show when we start dialing in on five guys instead of ten guys.”
The Terps, who finished 2011 with a record of 17-15 and 6-10 in the ACC, are again a young team with a lot of new faces for this team ready to improve in year two under Turgeon.
Maryland unveiled its first look at the 16-man squad Saturday at College Park shortly before the football team’s homecoming game against NC State, and while they looked balanced and they may have some guys in place for a foundation, Maryland again might have tough sledding with a team that only has five upperclassmen and will rely mostly on freshman and sophomores for their scoring chances.
They split the squad up into two teams-Red and White-and the White squad of Pe’Shon Howard, Nick Faust, Jake Layman, Alex Len, and Charles Mitchell fought it out to a 31-29 victory over James Padgett, Dez Wells, Shaq Cleare, Seth Allen, and Logan Aronhalt’s red team.
Several of those new faces excelled-most notably sophomore transfer Dez Wells, who is still waiting to be ruled eligible by the NCAA after his expulsion from Xavier and after Maryland requested to waive his two semesters of waiting.
Wells was 7-for-7 from the field and had 15 of his team’s points. He excelled in transition and showed impressive ability to drive to the basket for layups.
“Dez had a good scrimmage, ” Turgeon said. “He made some shots out there today, and he was great on the breaks. It was kind of his day.”
“That was definitely his best performance, and the light came on for him.”
Turgeon said they should know from the NCAA this week about his standing for 2012-2013.
“Hopefully this week we’ll know something…it’s coming up on that window of time.”
Joining Wells in double-figures today was Nick Faust, who finished with 10 points on 3-of-3 shooting and went 3-of-4 from the line.
Faust says he’s ready to become more of a leader in his sophomore year, and that he’s already feeling comfortable with that challenge.
“I’m getting more comfortable with this team, and with these guys,” Faust said. “I’m definitely going to do anything I can to help the younger guys.”
Junior guard Pe’Shon Howard, who is recovering from a torn ACL suffered last season, played several minutes in the scrimmage, and said after the action that he’s working his way back as slowly as he can.
“It’s all about habits,” Howard said. “My muscles aren’t completely back to 100 percent, so it’s certainly going to be a process and a grind. You just have to take it one day at a time.”
White (31): Nick Faust 10, Alex Len 7, John Auslander 5, Jake Layman 5, Pe’Shon Howard 3, Charles Mitchell.
Red (29): Dez Wells 15, Seth Allen 5, Evan Smotrycz 5, Logan Aronhalt 3, Shaq Cleare 1.