The loss of sophomore guard Pe'Shon Howard will crush the Maryland Terrapins in their remaining six games of the regular season, through the ACC tournament and beyond.
Howard is out for the season with a torn ACL, suffered in practice last week, according to The Washington Post. The devastating injury comes just months after Howard fought back from a broken foot suffered last fall.
Back-to-back tweets from Howard suggest that he has the right mindset heading into his recovery, which is expected to be lengthy.
Despite Howard's lack of scoring production, just 6.5 PPG in 14 games with the Terps this season, the sophomore from Los Angeles was pouring in nearly four assists per game (3.7 APG) for the 14-10 (4-6) squad.
Unfortunately for fellow sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin and the rest of the Maryland team, the Terps only average a modest 10.5 dimes per outing, which ranks 320th in Division I. That means that their offense just got a whole lot more stagnant.
Stoglin, the conference's leading scorer averaging 21.6 PPG, was benched in Saturday's loss at Duke. According to The Washington Post, head coach Mark Turgeon was disappointed with his "shot selection."
“His shot selection wasn’t great. It was hurting us, we cut it to four without him, so we took him out. We’ve got to learn from it. We can’t shoot shots like that and be a good team on the road. But he has carried us. ... So, it is just one game. Hopefully we will learn from it and be better on Thursday.”
The loss of Howard and his underrated presence on the Terps' offense has already reared its ugly head after just one game, an 18-point loss to rival Duke in which Maryland got just six assists combined from its guards.
Howard was logging the most minutes per game of any Maryland player this season before the injury, nearly 33 per contest. Without Howard in the lineup against Duke, guards Sean Mosley and Nick Faust were forced to play nearly the entire game.
Mosley's 38 minutes were nearly seven more than his season average, while Faust's 37 were nearly 11 more than his regular season average. Look for that trend to continue with Howard out, and look for the fatigue to show up by early March.