Terps face tough task against NC State

Terps face tough task against NC State
January 15, 2013, 3:30 pm
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Though the Maryland basketball team finds itself only three games into the ACC schedule, the Terps enter Wednesday night’s game against No. 14 NC State in serious need of a win.

Maryland’s last two games, losses to Florida State and Miami, showcased a team without a dependable scorer and an offense severely lacking rhythm.

The Terps started strong against Florida State, taking a nine-point halftime lead, but the second half against the Seminoles and the Miami game showed just how bad Maryland can be.

In its past two losses, Maryland (13-3, 1-2 ACC) turned the ball over a combined 32 times. Coupled with poor shooting in both games – Maryland’s offense was so bad against Miami the team only scored 14 points in the first half – the results come with little surprise.

Despite the poor offensive numbers, Maryland stayed within striking distance in both ACC losses.  In other games, like its 94-71 win over Virginia Tech, Maryland showed it can score in bunches, play capable defense, and attack the glass.

Turnovers proved to be a significant problem for Maryland in the losses to FSU and Miami. Maryland’s guards have not protected the ball, and in turn, the opposition scored easy transition baskets.

The turnover problem has not only plagued Maryland’s guards.

Against Florida State, forward Dez Wells committed five turnovers and center Alex Len added three.  In the loss to Miami, Wells and Len combined for seven turnovers, or 50 percent of Maryland’s team total.

Neither Wells nor Len is a primary ball handler, and both must limit the errors for the Terps to get back to winning basketball.

Simply put, Wells and Len represent the two best offensive weapons for a young Maryland team that at times struggles to score. If both players take care of the ball and play under control, perhaps Maryland can knock off NC State.

The Wolfpack enter Wednesday night’s game fresh off a 84-76 win over then No. 1 ranked Duke, and an emotional letdown from that game could work to Maryland’s advantage.

Still, NC State features some great players in C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell.

Leslie led all scorers against Duke with 25 points, while Howell scored 16 and hauled in an incredible 18 rebounds. The talent doesn’t stop there: Wolfpack guard Lorenzo Brown scored 12 points while dishing out 13 assists and sharpshooter Scott Wood dropped 14 points on a perfect 3-3 performance from the three-point line.

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon suggested that sophomore forward Nick Faust may play at point guard against NC State, a move that suggests Turgeon has tired of junior point guard Pe’Shon Howard.

The Terps face a tough task against NC State, a team many experts predicted to win the ACC. No matter who lines up at point guard, all of the Maryland players must take care of the ball if they are to pull out the victory.