It'll be interesting to see how much of a contribution Pe'Shon Howard makes for the Maryland Terps tonight when he returns to the team for its game against Boston College up in Chestnut Hill.
The junior point guard was suspended for the Terps' game against No. 2 Duke on Saturday at Comcast Center, apparently for violating team rules, although the specifics weren't spelled out.
But coach Mark Turgeon talked him up yesterday, telling reporters the Terps are thrilled to have Howard back and that "we need a mature, confident Pe'Shon moving forward for us to finish strong."
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Still, the fact is that Howard has struggled all season to run the Terps' offense. And he might be down to his last opportunity to impress Turgeon and remain any kind of significant contributor for this team.
Howard's problems have been well-documented. He often dribbles too much as the Terps are trying to run their sets. His passing has been erratic. He hasn't seemed to look for his shot. And he's seemed hesitant to shoot when he does get an open look.
But Turgeon continues to praise him for his defense. And the coach insists Howard can get the Terps into their offense, although he also accused Howard of "pouting," not long ago, apparently because his playing time had been cut.
But with the way the Terps have struggled to handle the ball -- in that 83-81 upset win over Duke, they had 26 turnovers, eight by point guard Seth Allen -- Howard has a golden opportunity to prove he can be a stablizing influence for the Terps down the stretch run.
He needs to come off the bench tonight and do just that from the get-go.