Nick Faust can be a very good basketball player. There have been times where Faust plays to the best of his ability and the Terps are very tough to beat. However, he has nights where he goes away from what makes him an effective player, which often leads to Maryland struggle. That is what happened tonight in Maryland‘s 90-83 loss to Oregon State in front of President Barack Obama at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md.
Faust played 36 minutes and was hardly a factor in the disappointing loss to the Beavers. He scored eight points on 2-of-8 shooting and had three turnovers. He settled for threes instead of attacking the basket and trying to get to the foul line. He tried to make the highlight play instead of making the easy play more than he should. For a guy like Faust who is as physically gifted as he is at 6-foot-5 and the emphasis on hand checking this season should not be only shooting three free throws in 36 minutes.
The Terps need Faust. They need him to play his game to have a chance at an NCAA birth. Tonight was a prime example of how the Terps will struggle if Faust is not on his game. When he is not finding ways to score or get others involve, the Terps’ offensive weapons become limited. It is not just offensively either. Defensively, Faust is one of the best on the team. However, tonight he did not looked focus or aggressive on the defensive end, which led to Oregon State scoring 90 points.
The Faust that stepped on the court tonight cannot be that same guy once the heart of the ACC schedule starts coming around. He needs to be a guy that sets the tone defensively regardless of what is going on offense. Just by that, he will see his offensive game get started. He has not proven he can be a consistent jump shooter, so he should look to use his unique attacking ability to get easy buckets and others involved.
Maryland wins the game tonight if Faust plays even a little better. He will be the difference between some big wins and some tough losses like tonight. If he struggles, you may see the Terps having a difficult time as well.