Better late than never I suppose. Sorry yesterday was a surprisingly busy day for me, and I never got around to writing about the game. If we look at this season with the thought that I had before the season started, this team is performing at a level I think we can all live with. However, as soon as the game starts, and you see them take a lead, albeit a short lived 7 second lead in the second half, you start to let your mind wander a bit, and think they can win this game. In the grand scheme of things this game was a tough loss, that really wasn’t one I was counting on them getting. Sure it was one of those games where you think, “well if they do this and that, I can see them pulling it off.”
Needless to say, Florida State used it’s beefy and athletic front court to dominate a foul plagued Maryland front court. There are some things we can take from this one.
- I think (for most of the game), this was one of Terrell Stoglin’s complete games as a Terp. He made some really nice passes that led to easy baskets. Until the game got out of hand, he really stayed within the offensive scheme, and seemed to play fairly solid defense. You can see an increased effort on defense from game to game, and some of that may just be the fact that he is able to get a rest here and there. If he continues to improve his overall game little by little, we could see a very special player by the end of his career. Right now he is just a little too one dimensional, but from time to time you see a glimpse of what he could be with a lot of hard work.
- Pe’Shon Howard has struggled since returning from his broken foot. There is no sugar coating it. I really was hoping he would be the steadying force on offense and knock down a few open shots here and there and it just hasn’t all come together for him yet. He had 4 assists but the three turnovers and missed open shots are the part of his game he needs to tighten up. I really think it will come, I am just hoping he is still getting caught back up to game speed.
- Alex Len has sort of disappeared the last couple of games. His lone basket he got away with an extra step. He was really out muscled against FSU and it showed him some areas he needs to improve upon in order to really take advantage of everything he has been given. I am sure it is a tremendously tough transition for him, but I think it will all come together for him. He just needs to be able to establish position down in the lane so he can get some decent shots off. Right now he gets the ball to far away from the basket to take advantage of his size.
- We all better hope Sean Mosley’s ankle is not a lingering problem. Behind Stoglin, he needs to be the number two option. You could tell he just didn’t feel comfortable out there the other night, and if they are going to get some more wins, it is crucial that Mosley is healthy. He fought hard, but he can’t afford to be out there at 75%.
- Mychal Parker is becoming a decent role player. We aren’t Kentucky. Everyone that comes through the door is not going to be an All American. We have players that are going to have to fit into the system or specific role. Right now now Parker seems to be willing to really play solid defense and is capable of making free throws. You can expect to see him coming and going when Turgeon subs offense and defense in late game situations. You also have to keep in mind he barely broke a sweat last season, so this is really his first season of significant playing time. He is not going to be All ACC, but he is going to turn into the type of player you need on a team. If he ever gets the athleticism to come together on the offensive end, he could be a 12 point per game guy by the time he is done, but right now he is working hard, and seems to have accepted his role. I can’t say that I am upset with the production we are getting out of Parker.
I am sure there are plenty of other thoughts I had on the game, but those are some of the ones that stuck out in my mind. The truth is our front court was not contest for FSU. They out rebounded, they got easy looks, and just pretty much did what they wanted to the Maryland guys.
Again, I am trying to keep in mind that this season is a learning experience for everyone involved, and we weren’t going to contend for any titles. But you open up the standings and see you were tied for second, you kind of get excited and start to cast some expectations that may not be fair to put on this young team. If they all learn, and improve, it will be very valuable heading into next season. With that said, lets just go beat Temple on Saturday! So much for tempered expectations!