As we close in on basketball season, we here at Testudo Times will be previewing the team player-by-player, starting with the freshmen and working our way up to the seniors. We'll be closing it up November 13 (that is, Maryland's first game) with the final player preview plus a full team preview. Check out our previous previews: Sean Mosley, Jin Soo Choi, Steve Goins, Jordan Williams, and James Padgett.
Today's Countdown to Tipoff features the team's two walk-ons, Ersin Levent and David Pearman. This is Pearman's third year on the squad while it's Ersin's first.
I know what you're thinking. Why should we care about the two guys who probably won't get any significant playing time all season? Well, because one of them may be forced to play some meaningful minutes, and they're both Terps, therefore we should care. Let's take a closer look at each of their games.
Pearman's Game: The junior from Columbia, MD is a decent shooter and a hard worker. He plays solid defense and makes the starters work in practice. At 6-6, he's got the ability shoot over defenders and bring in rebounds over smaller opponents. He finished last season with 2 rebounds and 1 assist in 17 minutes of play.
Levent's Game: Ersin is a somewhat similar player to Pearman and they're both on this team for the same reasons: hard work and dedication. Both bring it in practice and push the scholarship players and that's why Gary likes them. The sophomore from The Landon School in Rockville is also known as a shooter and a guy that can bring in some boards. Levent had a nice lay in towards the end of the exhibition game against IUP on Tuesday.
Projections for 2009-2010: Usually the number 12 and 13 players on a basketball team don't see too much time on the court. That will likely be the case for the Terps this season but there's an outside chance that Ersin Levent could actually see some playing time.
As we've discussed at nauseam, the Terps are very thin in the front court. With Steve Goins injured and Dino Gregory out for the foreseeable future, Gary has three guys to play at the four and five spots: Landon Milbourne, James Padgett, and Jordan Williams.
If one of those three gets in foul trouble, the next "big" off the bench is Jin Soo Choi. If two guys get in foul trouble, the next "big" off the bench is Ersin Levent.
Now we've already talked about the obvious problems of putting JSC at the 4 and having Ersin at the 4 would likely draw the same problems. After all, they're essentially the same height and weight. But the fact still remains that the Ersin Levent is the #5 big on this roster right now, and if the situation presents itself, he might just get a chance.
Unfortunately for Pearman, he's more of a guard type player and the Terps are stacked there. Does this mean that Ersin will jump Pearman for playing time? Not necessarily. But its definitely conceivable. Here's how I see the season shaking out statistically for these two.
Sound about right? Who's going to get more PT? Who would you rather see out there?