Seth Allen, Pe Shon Howard and Jake Layman and a Random Thought about Ball Pressure

In Ben's excellent post game write up, and in (another excellent) fanpost giving impressions about the game everyone (mostly correctly) pointed out a number of things. Here's my own rub:

1) Seth Allen can ball. In fact, I'd go a step further and say he was far and away the best player on the court on Friday. He's ready from day one to contribute 10+ ppg, I have no doubts about that. The real issue is whether he can play as efficiently as he did against IUP moving forward. It seems like he was bordering on the edge of being out of control a couple of times, but he did not turn it over so maybe that's just his stylo.

2) I disagree from the consensus on Pe. I thought, other than Allen and Mitchell, he was the best performer for the Terps--and maybe THE best performer in the 2nd half (when he led all terps in scoring with 9 points I believe). In the 2nd half he crossed his opponent up and pulled up for a 18 foot jumper that looked effortless, he hit a huge three to give us a double digit lead, he got out in transition and drew contact on two occasions and then hit his freethrows, and he played solid on ball defense against their point guard. It wasn't flashy, and there were no jaw dropping plays but there were timely, solid, good basketball plays there in the 2nd half.

3) Jake Layman is a very gifted athlete with a really high ceiling, but he looked a little lost out there at times on Friday on both ends of the court. It was basically just as Turge sold him--you can tell the parts are there, but they are not clicking yet. Once he learns how to move without the ball on offense, and gets better at d (and athleticism is not the issue there)--he can be a truly special college player.

So the prevailing take away from these three impressions is that Pe' should be worried about Allen eclipsing his starting spot.

I think two things: 1) I would expect Pe to keep his starting spot; 2) I think that if anyone's minutes are going to be cut into by Allen they will be Layman's.

Pe' is just too indispensable at this point. His mature game on both ends is something that nobody else on this team has, and I don't think we become better by cutting his minutes, or having him on the bench to start game.

Layman on the other hand seems like his minutes are dispensable. I'm not saying he doesn't bring a lot to the table because I think he does, and what he brings will only grow. But I'm saying he's a freshman, and Pe is a junior, and we are a very young team.

I have a hard time believing that when the chips start flying that Turge will cut down on Pe's minutes. And Faust is our best all around player so that's not going to happen. It also seems to me that Logan will see a steady, but small # of minutes thanks to his poise and shooting. So if Allen is going to get more minutes, it's going to come from Layman in my opinion. They are the ones fighting for those freshman minutes.

Consequentially, I believe we will see a lot of 3 guard offense this year--and I think that's our best look at this point.


Also on the subject of defense:

I was terribly perplexed by the amount of space we were giving IUP's shooters. It seems to me that we should tell our guys to gamble on the perimeter as much as possible and to give up the drive in favor of cutting down on open jump shots. We have a PREMIERE shot blocker in the lane in Alex Len, and have the ability to put out three guys 6'9" or taller from the 3-5. We should be an excellent team at collapsing on drives and altering shots.

Maybe against Kentucky we'd prefer they shoot jump shots. But against teams without premier, NBA ready talent that is able to drive and finish over taller opponents, I think our best shot is to get up in their faces on the perimeter and make them beat us on the drive.

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