Baltimore Sun reporters Jeff Barker and Don Markus and producer-editor Jonas Shaffer weigh in on the three biggest topics of the past week in Maryland sports.
How effective was freshman Roddy Peters in his first ACC game?
Jeff Barker: He was good. But he can be better. Here are some observations about the point guard:
-- Peters is particularly strong in the open court where he can use his speed. But he is not a reluctant player in the half court. He tries to penetrate off the dribble even when covered. In fact, he needs to learn when to show restraint.
-- He is not as fazed in crunch time as you would imagine a first-year player might be. Maryland left him on the floor at the end of its 88-80 victory over Boston College. He scored 14 points.
-- His outside shot is something of a work in progress. He can make shots -- and will need to or else defenses will be able to sag off him with impunity.
-- He is truly shy off the court but is one of those guys who has a confident persona, almost an alter ego, when playing basketball.
-- Peters is ambidextrous. Did you see how casually he shot left-handed off the drive last night?
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said Peters had a "good night" but not a flawless one.
"He had a couple turnovers in the second half," the coach said. "Even his 3-point play, (with Maryland winning by six points with 32 seconds left) I don't think was a great decision. He should have used more clock."
Should Dez Wells take over games like he did against Boston College more than he has in his two years?
Don Markus: Before the season began, many thought Wells would have the kind of performance he did against Boston College on a regular basis. He had done it a couple of times last season – the road win at Wake Forest and the ACC victory over Duke come to mind – and similar performances would have meant the Terps would not have to play inside-out with Alex Len gone.
This season has been a bit of a struggle for the 6-5 junior guard. The injury to point guard Seth Allen a week or so before the opening game forced Mark Turgeon to put Wells at the point because he wasn’t ready to give over the reigns to freshman Roddy Peters. After Peters played well in last Sunday’s loss to George Washington – a game in which Wells fouled out with over six minutes left – Turgeon decided that he would put Peters in the starting lineup and move Wells back to the wing.
What Wells did against the Eagles is not going to happen every night, against teams that defend better and with bigger and stronger guards. But when the opportunity presents itself, as it did against Boston College, Turgeon has to do exactly what he did, rotating Peters and Wells in terms of running the offense. Peters should be Maryland’s main point guard, but letting the offense go through Wells is something the Terps have to do more often.
Maryland almost got into trouble against Boston College by falling in love with the 3-point shot. The Terps don’t shoot it consistently enough to win many games from the perimeter. Few teams do. And Maryland’s big men are not offensive threats to continually give Jake Layman and Evan Smotrycz wide-open looks. Wells has to become a better passer off the dribble, but there aren’t that many teams that will stop him when he gets on the a roll, like Wednesday.
With more improvement on his outside shot and his ballhandling -- both areas are slowly getting better -- Wells could become almost unguardable because of his strength and quickness. There is nobody else on the Maryland team that has the capability of putting up 20 or more points every night – Layman might be the next in line, but he’s not there yet – so the Terps should make sure Wells gets at least 12 to 15 shots a game and he’ll do the rest.
Could Maryland really get shut out at DeMatha this year?
Jonas Shaffer: An enormous haul of DeMatha Catholic football players, at least seven at last count, is bound for Bowl Chamionship Series-level schools next season.
If offensive lineman Brock Ruble announces for Florida State or North Carolina State today, all seven will have decided not to go to the one school less than two miles down the road in Prince George's County.
By circumstance, by choice and by who knows what else, the Terps could go 0-fer with Maryland's top high school football team this season. Considering the program is still poised for a top-25 recruiting haul this season, and considering none of the Stags recruits are Kenny Tate-level prospects, it is not a dire issue. Not yet, anyway. But it is interesting to see which Stags, all of whom rank in 247Sports.com's top 25 in-state recruits, went where:
-- Three-star running back Taiwan Deal: Wisconsin (reported Maryland offer)
-- Three-star wide receiver Cameron Phillips: Virginia Tech (no reported Maryland offer)
-- Three-star offensive lineman Brock Ruble: Undecided (Maryland offer)
-- Three-star wide receiver Chris Jones: Wisconsin (reported Maryland offer)
-- Three-star running back Mark Allen: Penn State (no reported Maryland offer)
-- Three-star defensive end/linebacker JaWhaun Bentley: Purdue (reported Maryland offer)
-- Three-star defensive lineman Deonte Holden Jr.: N.C. State (no reported Maryland offer)
Grades could have been a factor for some. Class size and positional needs could have affected others
Maryland itself might have whiffed on an evaluation here, a recruitment there.
For me, anyway, the present here is less interesting than the future and the past. Only one DeMatha player, a walk-on, was on Maryland's regular-season roster this season. Meanwhile, there are three from Good Counsel, and McDonogh will have a trio in College Park next year.
There are questions worth asking here: Why has DeMatha's presence in the program dwindled? Is the school's relationship with Maryland any different under Elijah Brooks than it was under longtime coach Bill McGregor? Who's the next can't-miss Stags star?
With a bowl-bound team and improving in-state recruiting presence, Randy Edsall can mull those over some other day. As it enters a Big Ten Conference increasingly populated by DeMatha recruits, Maryland will see sooner than later whether it really needs the top players from the state's top team to be a top program itself.