Maryland Basketball Season Preview: The Guards

First things first: Ben G. is still limited in posting abilities, so while he wrote this, I'm posting it.

On to business: we're breaking down this year's team by position - one for the bigsone for the wings, and one for the guards. This, of course, is the guard's and the last of the series. Do you know what that means? Basketball is back. (A quick disclaimer: this is more for fun than for serious discourse, which would be difficult at best considering how many questions are on Maryland's team.) Let's talk roundball again:

The biggest question mark for the Terps heading into this season is probably the point guard position.  Gone are Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes; two players who accounted for almost 40% of the team's points, 60% of the team's assists, and most of the team's minutes at point guard.  The candidates to replace the departing seniors, are fourth-year vet Adrian Bowie, and freshmen guards, Pe'Shon Howard and Terrell Stoglin

The Starter

Adrian Bowie, 6-2, 190 (15.7 minutes, 4.8 ppg last season)

Bowie will begin the season as the starter, but I wouldn't be shocked if one of the two youngins ends up running the offense midway through the season.  There were times last year where Bowie looked serviceable at the one, and other times where I would turn to my roommates and say "If Adrian Bowie is our point guard next year, we're totally screwed." 

Can AB run the show?  Maybe.  He can get to the basket and score, he knows the offense, he's a tough defender, and he's a senior.  But his overall inconsistency, particularly the inconsistency of his jump shot and decision making, scares the crap out of me. (Ed's note: That jumper is fugly, but it started to drop at the end of last season). The other option, having a freshman run the point, isn't too settling either.  Stoglin and Howard are solid prospects, and they each have their different strengths.  Stoglin is a slasher and a scorer, while Howard is a flashy passer who takes pride in his defense.   But neither is John Wall or (I hate to say this) Kyrie Irving.  They're not guys you automatically hand the keys to the moment they step on campus.

Right now, Bowie is the best option at point guard.  I've got a hunch that he'll be the best option come March as well.  He'll get the most minutes of three, and he should increase his ppg and apg dramatically. 

Cautious Projection: 30 minutes    11.6 points     4.3 assists       3.5 rebounds

The Newbs

Terrell Stoglin, 6-1, 185

A scoring machine that stayed under the radar in HS, Stoglin tends to get less love at point than his classmate, Pe'Shon Howard. There's just not as much publicity, nor exciting swag, surrounding him. But Stogs looked solid at Maryland Madness and was perhaps the best freshman at the scrimmage, along with Haukur Palsson.

He filled it up at a furious pace in high school, threatening Mike Bibby's Arizona HS career scoring record. He's skinny and not as tall as you'd like - 6-1 is generous - but he's "crafty" and knows how to score. If his body can withstand the rigors of ACC play, he seems the favorite to get off the bench first.

Pe'Shon Howard, 6-3, 195

Howard wears Greivis Vasquez's #21 for a reason: his swagger is nearly as in-your-face as GV's was. When Howard's on the floor, it's a guarantee to see some amazing no-look pass of some sort. And when he gets excited, he'll let you know about it.

Because of the program he came from - Oak Hill - and his body size, he's the more "ACC-ready" of the guards. But he's also not the prolific scorer that Stoglin is, and though he had solid stats against Florida Southern, Stoglin reportedly played better.

One of Stoglin and Howard will emerge as the clear cut #2 option at PG, while the other will get some burn at SG.  Based on how the staff used the two during the exhibition game (and no that's not a great indicator, but it's all we've got), Gary and Co. may want to play Howard off the ball more and let Stoglin run the point.  Regardless of how the two freshmen are used, it's safe to say that Bowie will play a large role in how successful the Terps are this season.

Cautious Projections

Stoglin: 23 minutes   6.8 points       4 assists          1.9 rebounds

Howard: 18 minutes 6.4 points       3.8 assists       3.3 rebounds

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