With a little dose of reality dealt to our beloved Terps in the last two games, you could say a win against NC State would go a long way to righting the ship. Like many a Terp fan, I kind of question what Maryland can do to win against a white hot State team? Is it even possible based on how things are going right now?
Well, I think we all know we could pull it out Wednesday. Is it likely, no, but possible? Absolutely. The first major news item to discuss is the idea of moving Nick Faust to the point. Personally, I am all for this. Last year faust was a solid option at the point on a team with few options, when he was a freshman. This year, he could be a really good on the ball player with so many guys capable to helping him. He is not the prototypical point guard, but at this point he may very well be the very best option on this team. Another reason I am all for the move is it could benefit Faust himself. He has been a little up and down this season and a little change where he isn’t counted on scoring might just be what he needs to get back in the flow. To this point in the season, the lineups and rotation have been a work in progress. If the last 3 quarters have shown anything, they aren’t set in stone yet, and shouldn’t be. Why not try another change?
Now on to NC State. As you all know by now, they just knocked off Duke. Sure it was Duke’s first game without Ryan Kelly, but it was still a pretty good Duke team. State started the season a little slow, and perhaps that was just the kind of start they needed to really get focused, because they are a pretty good team. They are in the midst of a 10 game winning streak, and seem to have C.J. Leslie playing better of late. In his last 5 games he has 19, 21, 10, 21, and 25 points. In my mind he is the difference between NC State being a good team, and being a team capable of a deep run come March.
However, Leslie is not the only option for the Wolfies. Lorenzo Brown (13.0), Richard Howell (12.9), T.J. Warren and Scott Wood (12.3 each) average in double figures. If that wasn’t enough, freshman Rodney Pervis is averaging 9.8. While I think Leslie is the inside/outside threat that could be a huge factor in the game, you better be ready to defend the other four guys on the court. And you know Scott Wood is licking his chops to bomb away from three if you give him a little space.
Two weeks ago, I would have thought this game would have been huge. For a different reason than I was thinking, it is huge. It will be huge for their record, psyche, and for the fans to get back on the bandwagon and put those post season thoughts back in our head. All is not lost, and this team has some talent. Right now they are having trouble finding the right pieces to get in a flow on offense. If they can get that back against State, they can be in the game with them, and at that point anything is possible.