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Terpbag 8/20: Analyzing Maryland's Offense, Predicting a Starting Five, and More

Our new weekly mailbag feature starts today.

Jamie Squire
Welcome to the first installment of the Terpbag, our new weekly feature where we answer your questions about all things Terps. We'll have this up every Tuesday, and send your questions to

You may recall that in 2007 Illinois was the runner-up in the B1G and made a trip to the 2008 Rose Bowl with a killer zone read offense orchestrated by our very own Coach Locksley. This offense featured Juice Williams (QB), Arrelious Benn (WR), and Rashard Mendenhall (RB). With CJB at QB and Diggs/King/Long at WR adding up to a bigger threat than Juice and Benn, do we have enough of a running game to expect a similar offense?

You're right - the running game is the question. Maryland certainly has a whole lot of talent at wide receiver - but perhaps more importantly, a whole lot of depth. Beyond Diggs/King/Long, who could all be stars this year, they have a lot of upcoming talent in Amba Etta, Levern Jacobs, Taivon Jacobs and DeAndre Lane, who could all make an impact.

Wes Brown's loss really hampers the team - he was likely the best of the running back options. Brandon Ross is a workhorse and is a very powerful back, and Reid is really talented, but neither are on the same level as Mendenhall. The question is whether the two of them, combined with Jacquille Veii, are able to put up the total production of one feature back. I'm doubtful - I think Maryland is going to have to rely more on C.J. Brown to get their yards on the ground. The good news is that Brown is more than capable of taking that load. - PV


What is the outlook on the starting 5 for the Terps this season? I know Turge has been known to make starting lineups fluid based on his personnel (and limited scholarship players), but aren't we ready to get a solid crew for this season?

I think this season you'll see a more consistent starting 5 out of Mark Turgeon and Maryland, but it certainly would be surprising if he switched things up early until he finds what rotation/combination works best. It appears that Jake Layman, Seth Allen, Nick Faust and Dez Wells are all penciled in as starters, for now. Shaq Cleare will likely be the 5th starter, but if he's still experiencing injury issues at the start of the season, Charles Mitchell could step in. Turgeon also has the flexibility to insert Evan Smotrycz in there and not have a true post up guy on the court. Seth Allen has looked much improved running the point, so I think he'll stay there, at least initially, as Roddy Peters gets up to speed. I also think Damonte Dodd is going to surprise some people in terms of how well he plays, his athleticism, and how many minutes he'll receive. -DT

Sam again:

What do you think our situation will be at point this year? How prepared is Seth and what role will Roddy play based on what you've seen/heard so far?

As I mentioned, I think Seth Allen is your starting point guard. Not to take too much from the Bahamas games the team just played in, but Allen did a good job running the point and was still able to contribute offensively. That will be crucial for Allen this season; can he run the point but still put points on the board? Hopefully that answer is yes.

I think you'll see cases where Allen and Peters are on the court at the same time, allowing Allen to move over to the 2, but still available to switch with Roddy at the point if the need arises. But Peters isn't purely a point guard; he's probably a better shooting guard. While many tend to associate him as the point guard of the future, he has a great ability to score points, so you're likely to see him spending time off the ball as well this season. -DT


How has Malik Jones (#52) looked at DE? Never got a good feel on him since his high school was more focused on his play at LT.

Jones had a sack in the preseason scrimmage, but he's almost a guaranteed redshirt. He looks a bit raw, and needs to put on some weight before he can contribute. - PV


What do you think of Nick's prospects for the upcoming season. I've seen nothing on the site discussing him, but have seen stuff about Dez, Roddy, Jake, and pretty much everyone else. Do you think we'll ever see what was expected out of Faust coming out of high school, and the ability that he's flashed at times throughout his career?

I think people sometimes forgot how much pressure Nick has been under during his first two seasons in College Park. He came into a situation with a new coach, huge roster turnover, and has been asked to play out of position and even learn a new position during him time in College Park. A lot of people expected him to be lights out, but he's been unable to truly play to his strengths as a player for a good portion of his career. I think this season, a lot of that pressure will be alleviated and Nick can finally play to his strengths. With an improved point guard situation, Nick has the potential to score around 12-14 ppg this season. He's continued to improve his jump shot and should be able to further improved from beyond the arc.

Also, one improvement that many people missed about Nick from last year was his free-throw shooting, where he went from 61.9% his freshman year to 72% last season. If he can continue to improve there as well, and draw contact on his shots, he should a very good season for Maryland. -DT


Any update on the lawsuit?

The University is appealing the Maryland Circuit Court's decision to not issue a ruling in the school's counter-suit against the ACC withholding revenue until the ACC's case in North Carolina is decided. So Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler is filing an appeal with the Maryland Court of Appeals to try to get them to rule on this and stop the ACC from withholding television revenue as a sort of retainer for the $52 million exit fee they want the school to pay. That's why the athletic department's budget deficit was $21 million; the ACC is withholding $15 in revenue, even though Maryland is still part of the conference.

So basically there are two fights going on; Maryland is fighting the exit fee of $52 and they're also fighting the ACC withholding current revenue from the school. Got that? Hopefully I articulated all of that correctly. -DT

Thanks all, and remember to send your questions in to for next week's Terpbag.