The biggest question during the dismal Maryland-Boston College game earlier today might've been "Which quarterback?", or "Where's D.J. Adams?", or perhaps "What's up with all the drops?" I have a strange feeling, though, the thing being asked the most was: "When does basketball season start?"
The answer to that, unfortunately, is: not until November 13, officially. But we got a little taste today, with the team holding an open scrimmage/practice today for fans prior to the game. Shaquille Cleare, the big 2012 commitment, was in attendance, along with a host of reporters, commenters, and tweeters, all spreading the good word. A few of the choice notes:
Nick Faust actually is really good. The fans never had any doubts, but it's never a good idea to expect huge things out of a freshman. It's not like Maryland has a choice, though: besides the whole "depth" thing, Faust appears to be one of the stars of the team. He dropped a team-leading 15 points in the 20-minute scrimmage, including a tomahawk slam and two three-pointers. Turgeon said he's "got a chance to be a special player."
The interesting thing is that, in addition to being the likely starter at the 2, Faust will also be the primary backup to Terrell Stoglin at point guard with Pe'Shon Howard out. Faust has always been a scorer first, so it'll be interesting to see how he handles the distribution responsibility. If he can pull that off, he has quite the skill set.
Pe'Shon Howard loves college, is fine with redshirting. Quoth MVPe', via Jeff Barker at the Sun: "If I redshirt, that gives me another year in college. I love college. It's all about the situation - if the team needs me back." First of all, great response. Secondly, I'm torn on whether or not redshirting him would be a good thing. This season is probably lost, and adding Howard for the start of the ACC slate isn't going to transform them into a tournament team. But if he can get back before a single conference game has been played - and the optimistic return date of 10 weeks would put him back for the N.C. State conference opener - it's tough for me to just entirely give up. If he's out for longer than the three months, though, it might not be worth the dozen games he'd get.
Turgeon really likes him some Sean Mosley. Turge said Mosley does everything asked of him and is the only sure-fire starter at this point. He'll play some point this year, and it was discussed earlier in the season that he might see some time at the 4 in a four-guard set. So yes, it's likely that throughout the course of the year he'll play at the 1, the 2, the 3, and the 4. Mr. Versatility, and only 6-5.
Still no word of Alex Len's eligibility. Of course.
About the post players ... Berend Weijs is the big story here, scoring 13 points, which was the second-most behind Faust. Ashton Pankey supposedly looked pretty strong, as well. Throw in Alex Len, and this unit might not be as bad as we all feared.
For the fashionistas: shooter sleeves. For the first time since 1990, we might be seeing Maryland basketball featuring accessories. Pankey, Stoglin, Faust, and Mychal Parker were all rocking shooter sleeves.
Individual player impressions. Our own SA523 was in attendance, and wrote up a FanPost of his impressions of each player. Make sure to head over and read up on it. Quick summary: Faust is impressive, Mosley is a leader, Stoglin is just as you remember, and the big men have some potential.