Friday may have been an exhibition contest in Mark Turgeon’s first ever game at College Park, but the new Maryland coach took it with all the seriousness in the world.
The Terps defeated the Northwood Seahawks 89-84 in their exhibition opener at the Comcast Center, and despite the victory, head coach Mark Turgeon said that the team has a lot to work on going forward and it starts with tomorrow’s practice.
Maryland overcame 23 turnovers to fight off the Seahawks as the Terps struggled with a 13-point halftime lead, and Turgeon said that’s not acceptable to him.
“We’re just not very good with the basketball,” Turgeon said. “Guys aren’t very good. The decision-making isn’t very good.”
Northwood came in from last season posting a record of 33-4 and an unblemished 16-0 record in the Sun Conference.
The Seahawks’ coach was former Villanova legend Rollie Massimino, who brought the Wildcats a title in 1985.
Turgeon felt like they provided a great first test for his young unit.
“That was a good win for us,” Turgeon said. “Believe it or not, we got a lot better this week. [But], I tried to get out of the game. I couldn’t get out of it. Rollie wouldn’t let me out of the game.”
Up by 13 at the half, Northwood came out blazing out of the locker room, a 2010 first-team All-American Jonathan Dunn had 29 of his game-high 34 points in the second half.
Fellow teammate Patrick Hortsmann also finished with a double-double for the Seahawks, and he was a huge chore for Maryland in the first half-earning 12 of his 21 points under the net.
More balanced than Northwood, Maryland had five players finish in double-figures, highlighted by sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin’s team-high 23 points, five assists, and five rebounds.
Stoglin started slow in Friday’s contest committing several turnovers and only getting eight points, but a much more improved second half along with his teammates contributing allowed Stoglin to settle down a little bit.
Turgeon said that at times, Stoglin was trying too much.
“Terrell just tries to do too much. One-on-threes, one-on-fours…whenever he has to take seven or eight dribbles to take a shot,” he said. “It’s probably not a good thing for everybody concerned.”
However, Turgeon knows that if anyone has to be a catalyst for this offense, Stoglin is it.
“We’re just trying to get that corrected,” Turgeon said. “He was much better today than he was in our first scrimmage. Terrell made two big plays for us.”
Joining Stoglin was senior guard Sean Mosley, who also finished with 20 points and six rebounds.
Mosley agreed with his coach that they got a huge test tonight from Northwood.
“I think college basketball is tough,” Mosley said. “They played pretty well tonight. We just have to protect our home court.”
Mosley tied for the team-lead in turnovers with five, and he said that’s on him to correct those mistakes before the start of the regular season.
“It’s just a matter of us learning from the mistakes we had late in the stretch,” he said. ” It’s some of the things that we need to work on. I think we’re starting to get better as a team overall.”
Friday was also the first time Maryland fans got a look at freshman guard Nick Faust (City), who played considerable minutes with returning guard Pe’Shon Howard out with a foot injury.
Faust played 27 minutes for Mark Turgeon and finished with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, but he was 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.
However, he only played nine minutes in the second half after leaving with cramps in his thigh.
The highlight of the game for Faust came at the end of the first half with time winding down. Faust was dribbling the ball up the court with just seconds left on the clock, and forced a desperation shot from half-court in an attempt to hit the buzzer.
He did, and the 55-footer gave Maryland a 44-31 lead going into the half.
Still, Turgeon said that despite the showcase,the young Faust needs to be more selective with his shots.
“Quite frankly, he wasn’t very good offensively until he had the desperation-3 and then he hit the long one before the half,” the Maryland coach said. “He was 1-for-5 going into those two shots. Then he got going in the second half.”
The other player that Maryland Nation has been keeping a watchful eye on is 7’1 freshman center, Alex Len, out of the Ukraine.
Len-who when he plays during the regular season will be relied on for defense and scoring under the basket-played 16 minutes Friday night but was forced to sit most of the game with two early fouls.
It will be awhile before Terps fans will see Len again, as he will be suspended the first 10 games of the season by the NCAA for guidelines regarding amateurism.
However, senior forward James Padgett (10 pt, 9rb) and Ashton Pankley (12p, 5 rbs) played well in his place, and those two will have to bridge the gap until Len can return and be the force in the middle for Turgeon.
Padgett said that he’s been constantly chatting with Len and offering any advice he can give.
“He was so excited when he found out he could play today,” Padgett said. “He actually cried. It was a big moment for him. I was real proud of him.”
Maryland has nine days to prepare for UNC Wilmington in their real season opener November 13th, and that’s the date they’re circling on the calender for now.
“We’ve got guys that when things aren’t going well, they go in five different directions, and I’m trying to correct that,” Turgeon said. “Hopefully we can correct it by Sunday.”
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