Maryland season preview: Loss of star center leaves Terps very undersized

Like many other ACC teams, Maryland is facing a year of transitions. The biggest of those will be adjusting to the Terrapins’ first new head coach since Gary Williams took the job in 1989. Replacing Williams is former Texas A&M head coach Mark Turgeon. Turgeon, who worked as an assistant under current North Carolina head coach Roy Williams at Kansas, will look to turn around a Maryland program that has failed to advance past the first weekend in the NCAA tournament since 2003.

The Terrapins will also be looking to make up for the loss of four players, including three starters. Of those, center Jordan Williams’ production may prove the hardest for Maryland to replace. Williams, now a New Jersey Net, led the ACC in both rebounds and double-doubles and was fifth in the conference in scoring. The Terrapins will look to a few players to step up in Williams’ absence, but their strength will not be in the frontcourt.

Nearly all the team’s talent will be at the guard positions. Point guard Terrell Stoglin is the only returner who averaged double-digit points last season, after tallying 11.4 points per game as a freshman and adding 3.3 assists per game. Senior off-guard Sean Mosley will contribute some much-needed experience and freshman Nick Faust, who was the top recruit in the state of Maryland, will add energy and athletic scoring ability on the wing. Mychal Parker, who ranked among the top 50 recruits in the Class of 2011 but underwhelmed as a freshman last year, has breakout potential in the backcourt.

“We’re better than what I was told,” Turgeon said at this year’s ACC media day. “I was told we had great guards but how bad our bigs were. But our bigs are better than I was told and the guards not quite as good, but that’s because I was a point guard and I’m hard on them.”

He’ll need to push his team if he hopes to fully institute his motion offense in place of the flex system Williams used. Even if he’s successful in revamping the Terrapin offense, the squad lacks the interior presence to make it a good bet to penetrate the top half of the conference or earn an NCAA tournament bid.


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