COLLEGE PARK MD - FEBRUARY 23: Pe'Shon Howard left of the Maryland Terrapins passes around Luke Loucks #3 of the Florida State Seminoles at the Comast Center on February 23 2011 in College Park Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
We don't have any info on the Alex Len eligibility situation yet, but just in case you were jonesing for some bad news:
University of Maryland guard Pe'Shon Howard could miss up to 10 to 12 weeks with a broken foot, head coach Mark Turgeon said Thursday.
Howard has broken a small bone in his left foot that will keep him from any workouts for the short-term.
"I feel bad for Pe'Shon," said Turgeon. "He worked so hard and had a great summer and early fall. He's been practicing and playing well for us. Hopefully, we'll get a lot better by the time Pe'Shon joins the team later this year."
It isn't a killer, but it's close. The injury drops Maryland to seven healthy (and eligible) scholarship players, with the aforementioned Len situation still up in the air. The Terrapins were likely to play smallball and occasionally go four guards this year, but this put a kink in that plan, given that Maryland only has three guards (not counting Mychal Parker, who's listed at forward and is inconsistent anyway).
Howard was expected to be a starter and potentially a second or third scoring option. He was a steady ballhandler at either the two or the three, a highlight-reel passer, a solid defender, and probably would've played around 30 minutes a game. (Not to mention he had the best nickname on the team.) It's not easy to replace. And even worse, Maryland has no depth at point guard now, so if Terrell Stoglin gets tired or in foul trouble, we'll be seeing Nick Faust, Sean Mosley, or a walk-on running the point.
Turgeon was already a slow-down coach, and I'm wondering if the criminal lack of depth might inspire him to take up a scheme similar to the "burn" we saw utilized by Mike Brey and Notre Dame last year. Maryland lacks the talent the Fighting Irish had, but it's a good way to make depth immaterial.
Best-case scenario, Howard will be back in time for ACC games, starting with the N.C. State game on January 5. If he's out the full three months, his first game back would probably be the road game against Temple or the Duke game at home that follows it. Either way, he's missing games against Illinois and Notre Dame, plus the Puerto Rico Tip-Off (including Alabama and either Colorado or Wichita St.).
A tough season just got a lot tougher. With any luck, Len will get cleared sometime this century and Maryland will at least have a full, healthy backcourt.