What should Maryland hope to get out of Friday's exhibition game against Indiana (Pa.)?
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Turgeon certainly isn't. He watched tape of this Indiana team as if he were scouting the top-ranked Indiana Hoosiers. While his news conference was going on Thursday afternoon at Comcast Center, Scott Spinelli's booming New England voice could be heard in the film study room next door going over IUP’s tendencies.
I recall a year ago when the Terps squeezed by another Division II team, Northwood, in the exhibition with a more experienced, less talented group. Turgeon was not exactly oozing with confidence after a couple of poor practices, and I think he privately fears this team treating the game against Indiana (Pa.) as an extension of Maryland Madness.
What I would like to see in the exhibition is for Maryland to dominate inside, but this isn't going to be a dunkathon. Indiana (Pa.) might be rebuilding itself after losing its two leading scorers off a 23-win NCAA tournament team, but the Crimson Hawks have five former Division I players on the roster, including 7-3 235-pound center Blake Vedder (Rhode Island) and 6-9, 245-pound Josh Wieland, who played at Loyola.
Finding a starting lineup going into the Kentucky game should be Turgeon's first goal for Friday night. Given that he has said sophomore center Alex Len will definitely start, and sophomore Nick Faust will likely start, that leaves three positions to fill.
Junior Pe'Shon Howard probably can solidify the starting point guard job with a strong performance in the exhibition game. Coming off an injury-plagued sophomore year, Howard is facing competition for minutes from Seth Allen this year and ultimately, from top recruit Roddy Peters next season.
I am looking forward to see the freshmen big men, particularly Charles Mitchell, who Turgeon talked up quite a bit during Thursday's media session. He said that Mitchell has a chance to start at some point this season, which means Turgeon could see him as more skilled offensively at this point than Shaquille Cleare.
What you won't see -- or at least who you won't see -- is Dez Wells. The 6-5 guard who left Xavier after being falsely charged with sexual assault -- the charges were dropped and the prosecutor said that Wells got railroaded by a school that had been put on alert for not taking those kind of cases seriously in the past -- is still waiting to get his eligibility back from the NCAA.
The biggest thing to expect from Maryland Friday night is a team that shares the ball. I am sure there are some who think the Terps are going to miss Terrell Stoglin -- that thought has crossed my mind at times -- but Turgeon made it clear that the offense is going to run through Len as its first option. That's a big difference from last year when Stoglin was Maryland's first, second and sometimes third option.