Seth Allen is back and makes a huge difference
Coming into Sunday's game, Mark Turgeon revealed that sophomore Seth Allen, who had been out all season after suffering a foot injury back in October, would play "a few minutes" against Tulsa. Well, those few minutes added up to 21 and during those 21 minutes, Allen finished with 15 points, three assists and a steal. Not too shabby for someone playing his first game of the season.
Allen at times appeared to be winded, which is to be expected for someone just now getting into game shape. That should hopefully improve over the next several games as Allen plays more and gets his feet under him. But in his time on the court, he showed why he could potentially be the difference maker for Maryland this season. His presence does a lot on the court, moving Wells off the ball, giving the opposing team another perimeter shooter to defend, and providing another solid ball distributor/handler to run the offense. Allen's presence in the game just seemed to give Maryland's offense a flow and identity that was lacking the past several games, especially in the second half, when the team scored 50 points.
In a somewhat surprising move, freshman Damonte Dodd got the starting nod in Sunday's game, replacing Shaq Cleare in the starting lineup. Dodd, along with junior transfer Jonathan Graham, played a total of 35 minutes compared to Mitchell and Shaq's combined 13 minutes. Jonathan Graham was especially impressive and might have earned a start in Tuesday's game after finishing with seven rebounds, three blocks and three points in just 20 minutes of work. Graham provided that rim protection that Maryland has been missing following Alex Len's departure, worked hard and pulled down rebounds, especially on the offensive end.
You have to wonder a bit what this means for Shaq and Mitchell. Cleare's lack of offensive production is a bit concerning and while Turgeon seemed to give him ample time to get it together in that regard, it appears that that time may have run out. Maryland can't afford to drop another non-conference game, so if Graham and Dodd give the Terps a better chance to win, it appears they'll be playing more minutes moving forward.
Dez outshined by Allen's return
A double-double by Dez Wells was hardly mentioned Sunday night, as Seth Allen's shining moment overshadowed the junior's team-high 18 points and 10 rebounds (and two blocks). Wells seemed much more comfortable and able to play to his strengths Sunday night with Seth Allen's return to the hardwood. So perhaps having Allen back will not only give Maryland another scoring option, but allow Wells to do more on offense, too.
A few additional notes:
- Mark Turgeon said following the game that he hopes to be able to get Peters and Allen more time together on the court. That should be a welcomed and intriguing sight in the future.
- Dez Wells passed the 1,000 career point total in Sunday's win over Tulsa.
- Mark Turgeon recorded his 300th career coaching win, as well as his 50th at Maryland
- Are free throws a growing concern at the end of games for this team? Several Maryland players again missed the at least one of two free throw attempts, which allowed Tulsa to hang around in the final minute of the game. That is something that will likely need to be improved upon moving forward.