October 27, 2011
Maryland already was likely to struggle in coach Mark Turgeon's debut season as a result of a lack of frontcourt talent. Now the outlook for the Terps looks even more bleak due to an injury to one of their key backcourt standouts.
The school announced Thursday morning that sophomore guard Pe'Shon Howard could miss up to 10 to 12 weeks as a result of a broken bone in his left foot. That timetable suggests the soonest Howard could return would be for the start of ACC play on Jan. 8 against NC State.
"I feel bad for Pe'Shon," Turgeon said in a statement. "He worked so hard and had a great summer and early fall. He's been practicing and playing well for us. Hopefully, we'll get a lot better by the time Pe'Shon joins the team later this year."
The absence of Howard deprives Maryland of one of its top perimeter scorers and playmakers. The 6-foot-3 guard averaged a modest 5.4 points and 3.2 assists per game as a freshman, but he was likely to play a bigger role this season with Maryland adopting a four-guard attack as a result of its dearth of big men.
Although talented point guard Terrell Stoglin, defensive-minded wing Sean Mosley and top freshman Nick Faust still form a solid perimeter trio, Maryland is now down to seven scholarship players on its short-handed roster. The Terps desperately need good news from the NCAA regarding the eligibility of Alex Len, the highly touted Ukrainian 7-footer who is being investigated as a result of amateurism issues.
If Len is able to join the team and Maryland can avoid getting buried in the preseason while it waits for Howard to come back, the Terrapins could be dangerous in an ACC that is weaker than usual below North Carolina and Duke. That's definitely a glass-half-full outlook, but it's what Maryland must cling to at this point.