Terps point guard Pe’Shon Howard’s frustrating season continued Friday when coach Mark Turgeon said the junior has been suspended at least for Saturday’s game against Duke at Comcast Center — and possibly beyond.
Turgeon said Howard is “not making very smart decisions. You’ve got team rules you’ve got to follow. We’ll sit him out this game.”
The coach wouldn’t specify what rules may have been violated, and Howard was not available to comment. Turgeon said Howard will be re-evaluated after this weekend.
“He'll miss a game for this, at least one,” Turgeon said. “When you're older and you mess up, you might get fired. He'll miss one game at this point, maybe two, maybe three. But I want him to learn from his decisions.”
In Howard’s absence, freshman Seth Allen will get increased time at point guard. Nick Faust will also continue to play the position.
Howard last missed a game on Jan. 30 when he was ill. Earlier in the season, Turgeon had accused Howard of “pouting” when things didn’t go his way.
“We played without Pe’Shon before against Florida State, which probably helps us,” Maryland guard Logan Aronhalt said Friday. “We’re so deep in the rotation that certain guys are going to have to step up. We depend on the young guys — Seth — to come in and run the show for us. We should be fine.”
Turgeon said he is likely to start only freshmen and sophomores against the No. 2 Blue Devils, meaning senior forward James Padgett isn’t in line to start.
Padgett had started the past three games. The coach did not specify who would start.
Howard hasn’t started the last nine games and has struggled with his shot. He is averaging 3.3 points per game.
But Turgeon has often praised Howard’s defense and said the player has been growing more comfortable coming off the bench.
“The last two games he has played well,” Turgeon said.
Note: Turgeon repeated Friday that he is not disappointed in the team’s development. The Terps (17-7, 5-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) have lost three of their last five games. But Turgeon suggested that too much may have been expected of the team.
“I’m frustrated that I let expectations get ahead of where we are,” he said.
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