Maryland has the final of their two exhibition games on Saturday afternoon against Bowie State. In their other exhibition against San Francisco State, we got a good glimpse of Maryland's freshman and how good they could be this season. We also saw Dez being Dez, Jake Layman at the four, and that Michal Cekovsky will need some time to get up to speed. What should we look for tomorrow?
Will the new folks continue to shine?
Melo Trimble, Richaud Pack, Dion Wiley and Jared Nickens were Maryland's leading scorers last Saturday. Will they continue to shine this week? The competition again won't exactly be super competitive, but it was still encouraging to see some of the new guys making a big contribution immediately. Maryland is going to need them to do so this season, after losing a lot of their production via the five transfers that departed College Park.
Who will the starters be?
With Evan Smotrycz out with an injury to start the season, we didn't know who exactly Mark Turgeon would start. We had an indication that Damonte Dodd would start at the five, but who else would he start with him? Dez Wells, Melo Trimble and Jake Layman were a given, which left one open spot. Would Turgeon go big? Or go with a smaller, guard orientated lineup?
Turgeon settled with Melo Trimble running the point guard, Richaud Pack at shooting guard, Dez Wells at small forward, Jake Layman at power forward and Damonte Dodd at center. Will he do the same thing today?
When Smotrycz does come back, he presumably will start at power forward, moving Layman back to small forward, Wells to shooting guard and Pack likely to the bench as a backup guard. But it will be interesting to see if Mark Turgeon tweaks that lineup at all today.
Will Michal Cekovsky have a better showing?
Cekovsky didn't have a great outing last Saturday, despite facing up against DII competition. He looked smooth in his movement and had good positioning, but did not yet look comfortable enough to fully get involved in the gameplan -- especially on offense. It's clear that he has some work to do as he gets adjusted to the American version of basketball, much in the same way Alex Len did when he arrived. Turgeon has said that Michal is ahead of where Len was at this point in his career, but the true takeaway from all of this is that Cekovsky is a project who has a ton of potential. You'd have liked Maryland to have had more depth so they could bring Cekovsky along slowly, but with injuries and departures from Maryland's front court, he's going to be seeing more playing time at the start of the season. Hopefully, he can have a better showing on Saturday and demonstrate the skills that made him so attractive as a recruit.