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Faust stars at Maryland basketball scrimmage

Maryland TerrapinsGary WilliamsMark TurgeonComcast Center (arena)NCAA

It says something about Maryland’s bad preseason fortunes that three of the best players attending Saturday’s scrimmage  were not on the court.

There was Pe’Shon Howard, the slick-passing sophomore guard  who arrived at Comcast Center with black crutches and a walking boot to protect his broken left foot. Howard, expected to be out as many as 10-12 weeks, said he will consider a redshirt season.  

“If I redshirt, that gives me another year in college. I love College Park. I love college. It’s all about the situation -- if the team needs me back,” Howard said.

There was center Olexiy “Alex” Len, the 7-footer from Antratsit, Ukraine, who is awaiting a decision from an NCAA clearinghouse on his eligibility. Len signed autographs for a small group of spectators who came to the arena despite snow and freezing rain.

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said he might get a decision soon from the clearinghouse. “As long as they get the right answer in the end, that’s what matters. Hopefully, Monday,” Turgeon said.

And, finally, there was Shaquille Cleare, the 6-foot-9, 285-pound center from The Village School in Houston who is Maryland’s top recruit for 2012-13. Cleare, who has orally committed, sat in the lower stands wearing a black sweat suit and black cap and frequently talking with Turgeon.

With Howard’s injury, Maryland is down to seven scholarship players who can practice. The Terps have limited depth and size.

Turgeon grabbed a microphone at the end of the scrimmage and asked fans to “stick with us.” He called the team “a work in progress.”

“Nobody thinks we’re going to be any good,” said Turgeon, hired in May after Gary Williams’ retirement. “But I think we’re going to be pretty darned good before it’s done.’

Faust (City) was the scrimmage’s star, scoring 15 points, including a breakaway dunk. Turgeon said the freshman  -- an expected starter -- might need to play some point guard with Howard out.

Sophomore Terrell Stoglin is expected to start at the point. Stoglin is the team’s best scorer. With few available bodies, Turgeon said he may need Stoglin to be “selfish” this season and look for every scoring opportunity.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Maryland TerrapinsGary WilliamsMark TurgeonComcast Center (arena)NCAA
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