Without getting overly dramatic about it, the Maryland Terps are at a critical juncture in their season.
Maybe you heard: things are not exactly going smoothly for the Terps.
Not only that, but they've lost their sophomore point guard, Pe'Shon Howard, for the rest of the season. Not only that, but their coach, Mark Turgeon, and their leading scorer, Terrell Stoglin, seem to be having, um, philosophical differences over what constitutes a good shot and a bad shot for the talented sophomore guard.
But as Turgeon rightly pointed out yesterday, there's way too much season left -- six games and the ACC Tournament -- to start mailing it in and pointing to next year.
"Still get to play the games, still got a chance," was how Turgeon put it to reporters.
A big key will be what kind of play the Terps get from freshman guard Nick Faust (City) the rest of the way. He'll be forced to play a lot of point guard again, just as he did when Howard was sidelined with a foot injury at the beginning of the season.
For a freshman playing out of position and learning a brand-new offensive system, Faust did a decent job playing point early on. He's a natural slasher to the hoop who's struggled with his outside shooting this season. But he handles the ball well, is unselfish, and generally seems eager to get everyone involved in the offense..
If Faust falters and Stoglin is still pouting about his benching in the second half of the Duke game -- he took to Twitter to complain sarcastically before deleting the tweet -- the Terps will struggle.
Turgeon said yesterday that Stoglin's tweets are a dead issue now.
"He calmed down," Turgeon said Wenesday. "He's competitive, that's why he's a good player."
Coming down the stretch, Maryland needs a Terrell Stoglin with his head on straight. And a Nick Faust who steps up and fills the void left by Howard.
Turgeon's right: still got games, still got a chance for wins.