“I don’t want him not shooting, but I want him thinking running out team first. Seth can’t play that way. Seth thinks score, then run the team. It’s been the way he’s been raised and brought up and the way he’s played. Pe’Shon can and will hit make open shots. He was actually shooting the ball really well going into the Kentucky and I think that’s why he was so aggressive in that game because he was shooting it so well.”
Allen played well against Kentucky – finishing with six points, five assists and no turnovers in 25 minutes – but played more like a freshman against Morehead State. As for Faust, he seems to have reverted back to the beginning of his freshman year at times by taking wild shots. Some more long stretches on the bench – as he had in the second half of the Kentucky – should cure him of that.
Faust played well at the point down the stretch last season and while his assist to turnover ratio wasn’t what you wanted, his ability to break down a defense with his dribble will open things up for Maryland’s wing shooters. I think Allen that ability as well, but I am not sure about Howard, who was never that fast to begin with and is coming off a season when he had foot and knee surgery.
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Just as Turgeon is going to use this stretch of home games – the Terps play only one true road game, next Tuesday at Northwestern, before ACC play starts in January – to figure out his rotation. But I think he should also figure out who his starting (and more importantly finishing) point guard is going to be before then.
Maryland announced the signings this week of Roddy Peters and Damonte Dodd. There's been plenty written and said about Peters since his commitment last month, but what can we make of Dodd and his potential?
Matt Bracken: In the five-plus years I've covered Terps recruiting for The Sun, Dodd is the only basketball recruit Maryland landed whom I had never heard of before the actual commitment. I can't speak for all of my colleagues on the beat, but I don't think I'm the only one who was blindsided by the pledge of a mostly unknown center from a geographic area -- the Eastern Shore -- that typically produces zero high-major Division I players per year.
His senior year at Queen Anne's County High yielded eye-popping statistics -- 24 points, 16 rebounds, seven blocks per game -- but, unsurprisingly, not much in the way of legitimate competition. So Dodd and Maryland agreed that spending a post-grad year at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Va., would be best for his long-term development.
It's early in the season, but returns on Dodd's prep year so far have been nothing but positive.
“Right now, his strength is really being able to run the floor," Massanutten coach Chad Myers said in a Maryland news release. "He’s rebounding well. He’s very active and he’s starting to do a pretty good job of sealing and catching the ball around the basket, around the post. But I would tell you right now, it would be his motor and his ability to run the floor.”
Added Scout.com's Evan Daniels in the same release: "There's a lot to like about Damonte Dodd. He has a big, strong body, is active on the defensive end and will lock down rebounds in his area. He's a post prospect with some nice upside and should continue to get better with another year of high school under his belt. This is a nice pick up for Maryland and someone that can help them in the post down the road."
"Down the road" could very well turn out to be next year as a freshman. Alex Len's performance against Kentucky has put the sophomore center in the NBA draft lottery conversation, so expecting him back for the 2013-14 season is probably wishful thinking. And, of course, James Padgett will graduate this spring, leaving Maryland with Charles Mitchell and Shaquille Cleare as its bigs. Evan Smotrycz -- who has drawn rave reviews in practice -- will also see plenty of time as a face-up 4. Mitchell looks like he'll be a rebounding force for the Terps over the course of the next four years, and I'm betting that Cleare rounds his way into shape before too long. Both of those guys are great building blocks for Maryland in the post.
But a third back-to-the-basket big man will be needed, and Dodd's rapid development over the past eight months suggests that he'll be up for the job. He's still considered a player with -- as Mark Turgeon put it yesterday -- "big upside." My guess is that Dodd will get to show some of that upside next year.
"He plays extremely hard and he strives to get better every day," Turgeon said. "He's almost 6-foot-10 and still growing. He runs, rebounds, and blocks shots, and his best years on the basketball court are ahead of him."