CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 18: Head coach Mark Turgeon of the Texas A&M Aggies reacts in the first half of the game against the Florida State Seminoles during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on March 18, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
ESPN's Andy Katz was out in force at the AAU Super Showcase in Orlando, Fl., talking to all sorts of college coaches attending the event. One of his little bullet points was dedicated to Mark Turgeon, who talked about his weakness in the front-court and his plan to combat it:
New Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said he has reviewed his team enough to know that scoring up front will be a challenge. He said he'll likely go with four guards on the court on a consistent basis.
The idea isn't particularly new: fans have been pushing for it and Turgeon's even mentioned it as his game plan in the past. But "consistent basis" is newer and stronger phrasing, even if it isn't exact quoting. Even if perhaps exaggerated, it if nothing else confirms the earlier assumption.
A four-guard look, ala old-school Villanova, is pretty much the only way Maryland can get five ACC-starter-level players on the floor at the same time. They'll obviously be left with a pretty massive size deficiency, but it's nothing Maryland fans aren't familiar with: remember, this is the team that made the NCAA tournament with a 6-6 center. I'm assuming they'll try to run-and-gun to make up for the overall lack of size, pushing the tempo in an attempt to tire out the bigger players.
My initial thought as the starting five: Terrell Stoglin, Pe'Shon Howard, and Sean Mosley probably all have guaranteed spots. James Padgett does as well, simply by the virtue of being the only player on the team taller than 6-6 who has played 10 meaningful minutes in the ACC. (Actually, does he even have that?)
For the last spot, my guess would be Haukur Palsson, if only because he brings some height and Icelandic toughness to a lineup in desperate need of it. If Howard and Mosley provide solid secondary scoring options to Stoglin, points shouldn't be a problem, and Palsson would help to shore up the defense and rebounding. But Nick Faust is a legitimate candidate as well, particularly if Mosley is the Mosley of recent history and not (seemingly) ancient history.
Thoughts on a potential lineup? Not that you really have many options. I suppose the elephant in the room would be sitting Pe'Shon Howard and inserting Faust to manufacture some size as well as ensure that there'll always be at least one PG on the floor.