Maryland Soldiers On With Seven Players | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / September 26.
  • Maryland Soldiers On With Seven Players

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    With no word yet on the statuses of Alex Len or Pe’Shon Howard, Maryland must soldier on with just seven scholarship players.

    “We’re down to seven scholarship players,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said Tuesday on a conference call to promote the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, in which the Terps open with Alabama Nov. 17.

    “We’ll have to see.  We’ll have to implement a couple walk‑ons into our rotation.  This is our schedule, this is our team.”

    An NCAA spokesman told SNY.tv Tuesday that there was still no word on the status of the 7-foot-1, 225-pound Len, a Ukrainian native who faces a situation similar to that of Kentucky’s Enes Kanter a year ago.

    If Maryland gets Len eligible it could make a big difference this season. If he’s ruled ineligible, they run the risk that he could return to Europe and play professionally.

    As for the 6-3 Howard, who played in all 33 of Maryland’s games a year ago, he is out with a broken left foot that is expected to sideline him for 10-12 weeks.

    “I know he has a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday and we’ll know more there because the doc not only has read the MRI but can push on his foot and see how he reacts to the pain, all that kind of stuff,” Turgeon said.

    The first-year coach now must lean heavily on sophomore Terrell Stoglin to run the show at point guard, but he must also settle on Stoglin’s backup.

    “It’s a big deal,” Turgeon said. “Pe’Shon was a steady point guard for us. We only had two in the program. So it knocks us down to one. I need to move [freshman] Nick Faust to point guard or backup point. He’s a really good three man. But he’s going to have to play point. He’s not comfortable there. It puts a lot of pressure on him. Shortens our rotation.

    “Terrell Stoglin is more I think of a scoring point or a natural two, even at his size. Now he has to play more point. He’s played point, played it his whole life.”

    Up front, Turgeon needs to get more out of his big men, including 6-8 former Brooklyn Lincoln standout James Padgett, Lance Stephenson’s former running buddy, and 6-9 Ashton Pankey, a New York kid who played for Bob Hurley at St. Anthony as a senior but suffered a leg injury that triggered a medical redshirt last season.

    “They’re coming,” Turgeon said. “I think Pankey is coming the quickest. He can defend and rebound for us better than the other two. James has shown some ability to score. Him and Berend [Weijs] just need to know they’re going to play, get relaxed, do what they do in practice.

    “They’re all getting better, but I think Pankey is coming the quickest.”

    If Turgeon can navigate this season and potentially get Len and Howard on the court, Maryland has a nice recruiting base for 2012, including 6-8 small forward Jake Layman, 6-9 center Shaquille Cleare and 6-2 shooting guard Seth Allen.

    “We’re not done by any stretch,” Turgeon said. “We still have three scholarships on paper. So we’d like to add a piece or two before next season. But we got to add the right pieces. We’re actively recruiting a lot of people. If we don’t get it done early, we’re going to try to do something late.

    “But, no, we need to do more.”



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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.