COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Maryland’s point guard situation remains in flux after Wednesday’s 76-60 loss to No. 5 Ohio State at Value City Arena. It will be interesting to see what Terps coach Mark Turgeon does going forward.
Turgeon started Dez Wells at the point against the Buckeyes, but the 6-5 junior struggled mightily against Ohio State senior Aaron Craft, arguably the best on-the-ball defender in the country.
Wells barely could get a shot off in the first 10 minutes, missed his first five and didn’t score at all in the first 18 minutes. He had two points at halftime and finished with a team-high 19.
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Asked what the difference was between halves, Wells said, “I was off the ball [at shooting guard in the second half]. That’s my natural position, but I’ve got to produce at any position Coach Turgeon has me at. That’s no excuse. It is what it is.”
In moving Wells to shooting guard in the second half, Turgeon also started junior Varun Ram, a former walk-on, ahead of either freshman point guard Roddy Peters or junior Nick Faust, who has played the point in the past but has been used almost exclusively on the wing this season.
Peters had some good moments in his 18 minutes on the court, but he often countered them with bad ones. He finished with three points, four assists and five turnovers. Ram had two turnovers and didn’t have a point or an assist in 17 minutes.
In practice leading up to the Ohio State, the Terps used sophomore Connor Lipinski trying to simulate Craft. Turgeon said Tuesday that the simulation didn’t go very well. The real thing was a lot worse, as Craft forced a number of turnovers off Wells, Peters and Ram.
“He has to be thrown into the fire, how else is he going to learn?,” Wells said of Peters. “Every freshman goes through these times. It’s how you get better. You just can’t get down on yourself. We’re all going to be there for him. He’s going to be a great player. He just has to take it one game at a time and stay committed to being great.”
Wells said he planned to pull his teammates together today to talk about the rough loss.
Turgeon has gone back and forth about how much he plays Peters, and whether he starts or not. He seemed to be committed to starting Peters earlier in the season, but has now gone back to using Wells at the point with Peters and Ram backing him up.
Asked how he thought Peters performed against the Buckeyes, Turgeon simply looked at the stat sheet.
“Twenty eight points on turnovers, so how do you think he handled it?” Turgeon said. “It was 18-0 at half.”