By Don Markus
The Baltimore Sun
3:42 PM EDT, November 4, 2011
I am as curious as anyone about Alex Len, the 7-foot Ukrainian who will make his Maryland debut Friday night in an exhibition game against NAIA power Northwood before sitting out the first 10 games of the regular season.
I am also curious -- maybe even more curious -- about what new Terps coach Mark Turgeon does the first time Terrell Stoglin jacks up a bad shot.
You know it's bound to happen, because it happened plenty during Stoglin's freshman year. If you thought Gary Williams didn't have a lot of patience with Stoglin last season, Turgeon will be no different. He might even have a faster hook.
Listening to Turgeon during his session with the media on Thursday, you can tell that the coach's patience has already been tested in practice and in the team's scrimmages.
"He's trying. I'm in his butt. I'm all over him," Turgeon said. "He wasn't very good when we we scrimmaged last weekend. He's worked really hard at both ends of the floor."
When practice began Oct. 15, Turgeon had planned on using Pe'Shon Howard as his point guard, probably for 32 to 35 minutes a game. That changed when the sophomore broke a bone in his foot and it was announced last week that he would miss up to three months, maybe even redshirt.
Suddenly, Turgeon was forced to go with Stoglin as his lead guard, with freshman Nick Faust and maybe even senior Sean Mosley as his backups. Turgeon might even have to use one of his walk-ons, possibly Jonathan Thomas of Frederick, for a few minutes at the point.
Stoglin can do both -- sometimes in the same game. During a six-game stretch toward the end of last season when Stoglin averaged more than 21 points, he also had nearly five assists a game. He also had some great shooting games, including 11 of 20 against North Carolina.
Turgeon wants his point guard to think pass first, and maybe pass second. Stoglin is the type of player who is thinking about how he is going to score from the time he takes the ball inbounds. But given Maryland's scoring options this season -- at least until Len becomes eligible in late December -- Turgeon is going to have to let Stoglin play.
That means a few bad shots along the way. It's just going to be a question of how many the new coach will tolerate.
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