In one sense, if there's ever a time to lose a player, the NIT - a post-season tournament that, while useful, doesn't hold too much inherent meaning - is probably it. But when that player is a freshman starting to come into his own, well, the timing isn't all that great.
So it is with Seth Allen, Maryland's freshman combo guard, whom Mark Turgeon confirmed has a broken hand and will miss at least the Alabama game, and potentially the rest of the NIT, should the Terps advance.
Seth Allen has a fracture in his left hand and will not play tomorrow, likely done for the year. #Terps— Jakob Engelke (@Jakob_Engelke) March 25, 2013
Allen has scored in double digits in four of the last five games, including 15 and 13 in the first two in the NIT. He's also seen an increase in minutes over that spell, averaging 26 per game, firmly solidifying himself as one of the key cogs to Turgeon's shortened rotation. His play had become more efficient and less erratic, and he looked like a freshman growing into the game. That he doesn't get even more exposure, against a harrying defense on the road, is a disappointment.
Turgeon, though, has options at his disposal. Remember, the Terps had enough depth to run five guards against Denver, something they almost certainly won't need to do against Alabama. No one on the bench has Allen's scoring ability and ability to double as a point guard, but Nick Faust can spell Pe`Shon Howard at the point when needed and Logan Aronhalt and Jake Layman can both fill it up from outside if they're feeling it.
Allen's not the only player banged up, though; the Terps played five games in ten days, and it seems like their legs are catching up to them. Allen's now out, and both Dez Wells and Logan Aronhalt missed yesterday's practice. It seems Wells and Aronhalt will be fine to play, but it's indicative of the tiring, banged-up group the Terrapins are at this point in the year (and that, in fairness, most teams are at this point in the year).
Again, though, Maryland has plenty of depth, which they've used all year to keep guys relatively fresh down the stretch and can now use again as they tire. Against a team with a short bench like Alabama, nagging fatigue shouldn't be an issue; with any luck, the Terps will also be able to overcome Allen's absence.