So, What's Up With Terrell Stoglin Being Left Out of the Starting Five?

Maryland beat UNC-Wilmington by nine last night, a game that saw the debut of Nick Faust and unexpectedly strong play from Ashton Pankey and James Padgett.

But the most surprising story of the night for my money: Terrell Stoglin was left out of the starting lineup.

We knew he wasn't going to start at point guard, something that Turgeon revealed days ago. But it seemed a foregone conclusion that he was going to start somewhere. He is, after all, Maryland's best (and at times, only) scoring threat on offense, and is likely their best all-around player to boot. Can't keep him on the bench. Except, at least for a few minutes, that's exactly what happened.

In retrospect, the decision to start him on the bench seemed more or less symbolic. He entered the game at 17:07 and ended up playing 33 minutes - more than anyone else on the floor for Maryland. So either Turgeon realized Maryland needed his offense, or the benching was meant to be symbolic.

Once Stoglin got on the floor, he was more or less his normal self. He still put up points in bunches, going for a team-high 22, though he did that on only 6-16 shooting that included a few ill-advised jumpers. Strangely enough, he still ran plenty of point, even when Faust was on the floor (that's truly a strange situation). He is, and always will be, a volume scorer - he can get you points when you need them, but they won't come without a few questionable looks.

Turgeon didn't tip his hand on why the change was made, but Stoglin offered some insight:

"It's just between me and coach," Stoglin said, asked why he was held out of the lineup. "We're going to work on it together. . . . What he's saying is to help me; not hurt me."

Aaaaaand commence Randy Edsall comparisons. (Of course, it's silly to make that comparison so quickly, but that won't stop people.)

For the record, Turge was very positive about Stoglin's performance, especially defensively.

"Terrell played his tail off tonight," Turgeon said. "He guarded. He was in a stance, he was in position, he played shots. He made one mistake and let the guy drive around him and went back to his old habits, but I think some things that transpired for him to not be in the starting lineup today allowed him to play the way [he did]."

As a defensive-minded coach, perhaps Stoglin's defensive performance had something to do with the decision. If that was the case, it sounds like he earned his starting spot back.

I'll be intrigued to see how long this type of thing keeps up. Again, Stoglin is more or less a starter no matter what - regardless of his tendency to take terrible shots or over-dribble, he's' a scorer and knows how to put up points. The rest of Maryland's team often seemed like they didn't, and that makes his scoring savvy so much more important.

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