Maryland Basketball: Terrapins Have A Big Week Ahead

Mark Turgeon

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland Terrapins have been an extremely inconsistent team this season. The Terps had a close loss to UConn in the first game of the season, claimed the Paradise Jam championship, were demolished by Ohio State and lost to George Washington this past weekend.

On paper, the Terps look like a very talented team that could contend for a top-five spot in the ACC this season. That type of season would be enough to advance them to the NCAA tournament. However, the supposed star players have yet to translate the talent to a quality product on the court.

Dez Wells is probably the biggest conundrum for Maryland fans. Wells is averaging less than 14 points per game (13.9), has only 23 assists in nine games as the lead guard for much of the season, and is only shooting 30.8 percent from behind the 3-point arc (45 percent overall). Wells is coming off of a superb sophomore season where he turned into a must-see ACC player. He averaged 13 PPG, shot 52 percent from the field and contributed slightly more assists (3.0 APG) as more of an off-guard.

Wells did take home the Paradise Jam MVP earlier this season, but has definitely not been the type of player many thought he would be. Wells is starting to look more comfortable on the court with five straight games of double-digit scoring, but he is still not providing enough off-the-ball help.

The point guard problem can not be blamed entirely on Wells. Maryland does not have one player averaging more then 3.3 per game. Roddy Peters leads the team, but he is also averaging nearly three turnovers.

This week, the Terps face Boston College in the teams’ first ACC matchup of the season. While the Eagles have seen their share of struggles, they do have one of the conference’s best scorers. Olivier Hanlan is posting 19.2 points per game and is shooting 36 percent from three. He will be a handful for any ACC team, and Maryland will have to slow him down.

The Terps should pick up this victory, but coach Mark Turgeon will need to get the most out of Wells, leading scorer Jake Layman (14.4 PPG) and the rest of the Terps to make sure that an upset will not happen.

Gregory T. Philson is an ACC college basketball writer at RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

Read more at http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-basketball/2013/12/07/north-carolina-basketball-j-p-tokoto-key-to-tar-heels-success/

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