As Greivis and Co. leave the house, others rise to take their place. This year, it's a group of five incoming freshmen. Over the next five days, we'll be introducing them to you, in order of their commitments. We've done Terrell Stoglin, Mychal Parker, and Ashton Pankey.
Name: Pe'Shon Howard
HS: Oak Hill Academy; Mouth of Wilson, VA, by way of Los Angeles, CA
AAU: Team Breakdown
Nickname: Oh yes, Howard has plenty. The favorites: MVPe', Master Pe', and Pe' Diddy.
Rankings: 3 stars on Rivals; 92 on ESPN; 3 stars on Scout
Maryland Was Better Than: Arkansas, California, Northwestern, Harvard, USC, Virginia, Virginia Tech
Strengths: No one can replace Greivis Vasquez entirely, but someone has to take his place. That someone, in some respects, will be Pe'Shon Howard. Pe'Shon's passing ability is unmatched - he will surprise even his own teammates with some of the gems he delivers. And even better, he takes the Pete Maravich philosophy: "If I can get the ball to a man with a pass behind my back as well as I can with a regular chest pass, what's the difference?" He will drop your jaw with behind-the-back, between-the-leg, and no-look 360 gems, both on the break and in the half-court. He also has Greivis' passion, swag, and pride - he tries his damnedest to win, and he'll leave his emotions on his sleeve on the way there. He loves the Terps and talks them up whenever he can. On the basketball side, he's extremely physical and strong. That gives him the ability to get into the lane and either kick out thanks to his absurd vision or finish at the rim with his above-average strength. When he gets hot, he can be expected to put some points on the board. Unlike Adrian Bowie at times, I'm confident that he has both the head and the handles to play the point effectively in the ACC. He played on Oak Hill, an elite HS team, meaning the transitionary period to ACC play will be shorter than most.
Weaknesses: He's not going to shoot the lights out; he can hit an open jumper, but he's not Eric Hayes and probably never will be. He's just not a shooter. Also, much like Stoglin, he doesn't really have much to speak of in the way of quickness. It's adequate, but he's not going to blow by too many people, instead relying on his strength to get in the lane. Do you remember early Greivis Vasquez? Lots of forced shots, forced passes? You can expect Pe'Shon to make his fair share of those, too. It's a give and take. Having Vasquez to adjust to means most people will be okay with Pe'Shon's style, but plenty of fans will rag on Pe'Shon for his errors. His personality will rub some the wrong way. When things go wrong, you'll know it - his body language can be Born Ready-esque. I didn't think BR's body language was as big a problem as some others, though, so take that with a grain of salt.
In a Turtleshell: He's extremely passionate, an excellent passer, and probably the closest thing to being Greivis Vasquez that Maryland will ever get, but he doesn't have Greivis' height or all-around ability.
Interesting Storyline: Pe'Shon almost committed to Maryland very early in the process, but Maryland backed off. Terp fans, as they are wont to do, started saying he wasn't "good enough" on message boards. Howard read it, and put on Facebook that "Maryland fans are mean and broke [his] self-esteem". Yeah, how'd that turn out? On another note: he supposedly wants to wear #21. Are you in favor?
Comparison: Not as tall as Greivis, but only the Vivacious Venezuelan can match Howard for swag and passing ability. He defininitely lacks Greivis' all-around game, but he's a rather unique guy.
Prediction: I think he'll be starting by the end of the year. Simply put, he's the most ACC-ready of all the incoming recruits, and Maryland will need him as a leader and someone to get Jordan Williams the ball. That combination (Howard to Williams) will be a great one for years to come. I don't think Howard will ever be a great scorer in his time here, but he'll have a ton of assists and be invaluable for his leadership.
Other Useful Links: Rivals | ESPN | Scout | Commitment Article from BSun | Testudo Impressions | Testudo Impressions, Pt. II
From about :22 on, it's just a parade of impossible passes.
|Pe'Shon Howard highlights from the Les Schwab Invitational|