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Terps' Roddy Peters learning to play point guard on the fly

BasketballMaryland TerrapinsRoman CatholicismChristianityNCAAMark Turgeon

With Seth Allen on crutches (broken foot), Maryland coach Mark Turgeon has said that freshman point guard Roddy Peters must step in and “play through his mistakes.”

We saw that Sunday from the promising freshman during Maryland’s 84-39 exhibition victory over a Catholic team that was smaller than the Terps at every position.

Peters (7 points on 2-for-5 shooting from the floor, 2 assists, 2 turnovers) showed off his speed and his unselfish nature. He occasionally drove the ball too far under the basket and found himself trapped.

Peters isn't starting since Turgeon is using Dez Wells as his principal point guard. But Peters played 20 minutes Sunday and is part of Turgeon’s rotation. Peters and forward Charles Mitchell were the first players off the bench Sunday. Wells started along with Nick Faust, Jake Layman (23 points, including 5-for-7 on 3-pointers), Shaq Cleare and Evan Smotrycz.

Peters likes to penetrate to the basket. While some point guards tend to slow down when they reach the lane, the freshman does not always show an abundance of caution. That’s good  because it puts pressure on the defense to react in a hurry, but it’s also risky.

“I thought Roddy was pretty good,” Turgeon said. “Where I’m really proud of Roddy is on the defensive end because that’s where he doesn’t really like to play a lot. He really concentrated and took on the challenge. The thing with Roddy is that he tries to hit the home run every time. He was able to do that in high school. He gets in there and gets too deep.”

Wells also scored 7 points. After the game, he glanced at the stat sheet when asked about starting the season at point guard.

“How many turnovers did I have? Two? It felt pretty good. I was a little tired at first, but once I got my second wind I was fine. It was a little different.”

Bringing the ball up is not entirely new to Wells. He did it some last season, but he wasn’t asked about it much by the media because he wasn’t officially the point guard.

If you’re wondering, Turgeon likes Wells at the point because it enables the coach to put his five best players on the floor at once.

And Wells does like to pass. Sometimes too much. Turgeon said Sunday that Maryland will need Wells to shoot more than four times in the future. He was 3-for-4 on Sunday.

Wells’ best play from Sunday was a pass. He took the ball in transition following a turnover by Catholic, took a few dribbles and floated an alley-oop pass to Layman, whose dunk made it 54-22.

Here are some more observations about the game:

* It was hard to assess Maryland’s frontcourt because Catholic was probably the smallest team the Terps will play all year.

* Reserve forward John Auslander coaches from the bench more than some assistant coaches that I’ve seen.

* The new, leaner Charles Mitchell was evident on a spin move into the lane that produced a basket to put Maryland up, 66-25.

* Transfer Jonathan Graham couldn’t play while the NCAA reviews his hardship waiver application. He’s able to practice but not participate in games.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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BasketballMaryland TerrapinsRoman CatholicismChristianityNCAAMark Turgeon
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