Here is Part II of our basketball season roundtable. In case you missed part I, you can read it here.
4. Follow up - with Stoglin gone, who's you're starting 5 when Maryland takes on Kentucky to open the season? If Pe'Shon isn't back, who's running point for the Terps?
I'll go with this, for the moment: Pe`Shon Howard / Sam Cassell Jr. / Nick Faust / James Padgett / Alex Len. If Pe' isn't healthy, your guess is as good as mine. I'd put Allen at the point and sub Cassell for Aronhalt, but that's really speculative. I imagine it'll all depend on who looks good and bad in practice.
If Pe’Shon is healthy I think it’s Pe’Shon, Allen, Faust, Padge and Len. Without Pe’Shon, I’ll put Allen at the 1 and insert Cassell Jr. at the 2.
If Pe'Shon is back, I'd say Howard-Aronhalt-Faust-Len-Padgett. If Pe isn't back, Faust-Aronhalt-Layman-Len-Padgett.
5. Who will lead this team in scoring next season? Who will be the best rebounder?
It will be interesting to see what Aronhalt does and whether Pe'Shon is ready to go. If he is, I think it's Pe'Shon, Len, Padgett, Faust and Aronhalt. If MVPe' isn't ready to go, I think Cassell or Allen start in his place.
All of my optimism is based on the growth I expect from Nick Faust and Alex Len, so those two are easily my answers for that one. I think Len will give Faust a run for his money in the scoring section, however.
Scoring has to be Faust, doesn't it? Unless he's injured, he's this team's new cornerstone. I'm hoping the rebounder will be Len. If it is, that's a very good omen for Maryland's future.
Leading scorer will be Faust. Leading rebounder will likely be Len (although, I love Padgett as a rebounder, as well). I feel more confident in those predictions than anything else I’ve said in this roundtable.
If the leading scorer isn't Faust, something has either gone horribly wrong or awesomely right. I think Faust is your leader in point and I'm going with Padgett as the leader on the boards. He's gotten better year after year and I think he surprises a lot of people this year as he continues that growth.
6. Of the incoming freshmen, who is going to have the biggest impact? Who do you think will surprise fans the most?
I think Shaquille Cleare will probably have the biggest impact, but if Howard isn't ready to go, that answer could definitely be Cassell or Allen. Assuming Howard is back, I think Shaq will really help open up the offense so his impact on the court goes beyond just points and rebounds. For biggest surprise, I'm going to go with Charles Mitchell. I think he has a lot of talent and I think he often gets lost in the shuffle of this recruiting class. I'm not saying he's going to lead the team in scoring, but I think people will be surprised at his ability and level of play.
Biggest impact is probably either Cassell or Shaquille Cleare. Shaq looks like the best of them, but Cassell could get bigger minutes just due to the position. I do think Cassell will surprise a lot of people. He's ready to play now and while he has a relatively one-dimensional game, that one dimension - namely, making crazy-ass shots from deep - is really fun to watch.
I think Jake Layman will have the biggest impact, as evidenced by my inclusion of him in the starting lineup for next year. In terms of a surprise, I'm going to say Seth Allen. A lot of fans have forgotten about him because of how early he committed, but he's a very talented guard who I think has a key spot as a role player on next year's team.
I predict Shaq will have the biggest impact (I know, not really going out on a limb here). Not only is he the highest ranked of the 6, he also should have the opportunity for major minutes as the first big off the bench. Considering how easily Len got in foul trouble last year, I expect Shaq to get a lot of burn this season.
In terms of my surprise, I’m going to go with the latest addition to the team, Albany transfer Logan Aronhalt. Someone is going to have to make up for the loss of Stoglin’s points, and I think Aronhalt is a prime candidate. The former Albany captain averaged 13.8 and 14.6 points per game the last two seasons, respectively. A guy who can bring that kind of scoring, and leadership, should make a major impact on this year’s squad.