Maryland's chances of making the NCAA tournament this season for the first time in Mark Turgeon's tenure diminished Wednesday with the revelation that a key player has suffered a significant injury.
Seth Allen, Maryland's starting point guard, fractured the fifth metatarsal in his left foot during practice Tuesday evening when the sophomore drove to the basket and landed awkwardly. He will undergo surgery Thursday and miss 8 to 10 weeks, which means he likely miss Maryland's entire non-conference slate including games against UConn and Ohio State.
"We are devastated for Seth," Turgeon said in a statement issued by the school. "He was playing at a very high level throughout the summer and fall and was poised to have an excellent start to the season. We will support Seth during his rehabilitation process and will prepare him, so he can get back on the court with his teammates."
A key contributor immediately for a Maryland team with shaky guard play last season, Allen averaged 7.8 points per game and notched 36 steals as a freshman while beginning the transition to point guard from playing mostly off ball. The 6-foot-1 guard scored in double figures in four of five postseason games before fracturing a bone in his shooting hand during practice on March 24 and missing the last two games of the NIT.
The obvious choice to replace Allen as Maryland's starting point guard would seem to be Roddy Peters, but perhaps Turgeon doesn't believe the highly touted freshman is far enough along to be ready for such responsibility just yet. He told ESPN.com that wing Dez Wells will likely inherit point guard responsibilities in Allen's absence with Peters serving as the primary backup.
Projected as a middle-of-the-pack team in its final season in the ACC, Maryland cannot afford to perform poorly in non-conference play and expect to make up for it in league once Allen is back. As a result, the Terps are going to have to lean on Wells and Peters, find a way to avoid bad November and December losses and hope that Allen gets back to full strength in time for the bulk of the ACC schedule.
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