With Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes leaving last year, Maryland and their fans had to wonder who will step up and emerge as consistent performers in the back court this year. Coming into the year it was expected that Gary Williams would rely on seniors Adrian Bowie and Cliff Tucker to hold down the back court duties while freshmen Terrell Stoglin and Pe'Shon Howard develop into quality contributors.
However, if Maryland's 64-61 loss Temple is any indication, Gary doesn't seem to be afraid of going to his freshmen right now. In the second half against Temple, Williams relied heavily on his bench, which mostly consisted of underclassmen. As a result, Stoglin and Howard got a chance to show what they could do when given some playing time.
The results were fairly impressive.
Stoglin played 25 minutes and scored 16 points (going 4-4 on free throws in the process, a difficult feat for Maryland this year) , and showed flashes that he could potentially run the offense effectively. His back court mate, Howard, played 23 minutes, chipping in with 6 points.
What was most impressive about the second half youth movement was the fact that entire Maryland team seemed to play more inspired. They hustled more, played better defense, played more aggressively in transition, and most importantly, stayed in the game against Temple. During the broadcast, color commentator John Feinstein made an observation that perhaps Gary left his freshmen in the game to show the seniors how they were supposed to be playing. Not a good sign for Bowie and Tucker.
So it begs the question: Should Gary start his young guns in the back court from now on?