Logan Aronhalt Has Become the X-Factor for the Maryland Terrapins

Ryan SatskyContributor IIINovember 28, 2012

Following Maryland's first four games this season, it seemed as if Albany transfer Logan Aronhalt was going to discover the ugly way that a 10-man rotation is nearly unmanageable for a 40-minute college basketball contest.

That has quickly changed after Aronhalt's performances against Georgia Southern and Northwestern.

For the past two seasons, Maryland had been missing a three-point shooting specialist. When it needed a crucial three-pointer, Maryland didn't have that reliable long-ball threat hanging around on the perimeter.

That's why, in his first complete offseason, head coach Mark Turgeon made it a priority to reel in a proven, capable long-range shooter.

Logan Aronhalt is that shooter.

But his first four games were far from inspiring. He sunk just three three-pointers during that stretch, and his lack of productivity took away from his minutes.

Finally, against Southern Conference opponent Georgia Southern, Aronhalt got into a groove. He finished the game with 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting from deep.

Against a much tougher, more talented foe in Northwestern, the ex-Albany shooting guard continued his stellar outside-shooting display, knocking down 3-of-5 shots from beyond the arc.

A high shot percentage is always nice, but it was the timeliness of Aronhalt's buckets that provides optimism for the future. Despite eventually winning the Big Ten-ACC Challenge game by 20, the Terps only led by a two-point margin at the half.

After dominant spurts by Alex Len and Dez Wells extended Maryland's lead into double digits, Aronhalt served as the dagger that buried Northwestern's hopes for a comeback.

In prior years, Maryland didn't possess this type of unique talent on the roster. That void often led to second-half collapses, because Maryland didn't have a clutch shooter to close out ballgames.

Aronhalt's efficiency and quick scoring outbursts have made him the ultimate X-factor for Maryland. He'll step in the game for a few minutes at a time and extend Maryland's lead to a point where the opponent can't recover.

Athletically, he's nothing special. Fundamentally, he's not outstanding.

But Logan Aronhalt has found his niche beyond the three-point line, and it's paying big dividends as Maryland sits at 5-1.

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