Worries About How to Replace Scoring Merited?

In Jeff Barker's quick look ahead to next season--Ben G. linked it in the most recent post--he notes the trio of Greivis, Eric, and Landon scored 43.2 of the Terps' 79.6 PPG. Obviously you don't have to be a genius to see that's over half the team's points. So we should all worry the Terps will struggle to put points on the board, right? Well, not necessarily.

Here's a look at PPG, FG%, and end-of-season result dating back to the '93-'94 season:

1993-1994 - 80.0; 45.7& - Sweet 16
1994-1995 – 86.6; 49.8% - Sweet 16
1995-1996 – 81.3; 44.9% - 1st round
1996-1997 – 75.2; 46.5% - 1st round
1997-1998 – 78.8; 46.1% - Sweet 16
1998-1999 – 84.5; 49.5% - Sweet 16
1999-2000 – 76.7; 46.5% - 2nd round
2000-2001 – 85.2; 48.4% - Final Four
2001-2002 – 85.0; 48.2% - National Champs
2002-2003 – 79.7; 46.4% - Sweet 16
2003-2004 – 77.4; 44.1% - 2nd round
2004-2005 – 81.9; 43.9% - NIT
2005-2006 – 78.3; 44.8% - NIT
2006-2007 – 79.0; 47.8% - 2nd round
2007-2008 – 73.0; 46.2% - NIT
2008-2009 – 71.8; 42.4% - 2nd round
2009-2010 – 79.7; 47.1% - 2nd round

As you'd expect, the FF and Championship teams were offensive juggernauts as was the Steve Francis-led team and the Joe Smith-led squads ('94-'95 was the best season statistically of any during this 17-year stretch).

But what really caught my eye was that with the exception of the '07 and '09 teams--both teams part of the GV, EH, LM era--the Terps haven't averaged under 75.2 PPG in 17 years. Just to dig even a little more, I checked the stats for the probation-era teams.  They all averaged at least 80 PPG!

Why has the scoring fluctuated so little, even during lean years or ones devoid of pure shooters? I suspect it's a combination of the Terps' uptempo style, the ability of the flex to get good looks to score, and the simple fact that whenever any basketball team loses scorers, returning players take more shots.

I think the bigger concerns for offense next year are who, if anyone, will be the guy to create and make his own shot when it's crunch time and will whoever starts at PG run the flex smoothly.

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