Future Terps Howard, Stoglin stand out at Capital Classic

Senior guards join fellow Maryland recruit Palsson on U.S. team in loss to Washington-area all-stars

April 15, 2010|By Jeff Barker | jeff.barker@baltsun.com

WASHINGTON — Pe'Shon Howard wore No. 21 on Thursday night for the U.S. All-Stars in the Capital Classic. It's the number that the 6-foot-2 guard wore in the recently-ended high school season, and he hopes it will be his again at the University of Maryland this fall.

Howard's ambition to wear "21" might be considered audacious since it was also the number of Greivis Vasquez, who recently ended his Maryland career as the school's second all-time scorer. Howard -- who joined fellow future Terps Terrell Stoglin and Haukur Palsson in the high school all-star game -- said he intended no disrespect to Vasquez. Rather, Howard suggested that claiming a former star's number illustrated his confidence. "That's one thing I really don't lack is confidence," Howard said.

It was a quality that Howard shares with the other Terrapins who played in the game at American University's Bender Arena. Howard and Stoglin seemed particularly self-assured.

"Me and Pe'Shon are looking to contribute a lot [next season]," said Stoglin, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Arizona. "We know we have big shoes to fill."

Stoglin and Howard acquitted themselves well in the game, which pitted the Terps-to-be with other U.S. stars against players from the Washington region. The Capital all-stars won, 117-108.

Stoglin, a slight lefty, scored the game's first points on a floater in the lane. He made three of his first five shots and finished with 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting -- including three 3-pointers.

Howard, a rugged guard who relishes fancy passes and man-to-man defense, scored 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting and had three assists. He began his scoring with a vicious dunk and also had an impressive assist to a baseline cutter in the first half.

Howard and Stoglin distinguished themselves with their passing -- not always a priority of players in all-star games.

"My main focus was assists," said Stoglin, who had two. "We didn't want to just be jacking up shots."

Said Howard: "I try to make sure my teammates are in the game, just make them better, get them easy buckets. On defense, I like the challenge of having a one-on-one battle and try to keep them from scoring. I'm really competitive on that."

Palsson, a 6-foot-6 swingman from Montverde (Fla.) Academy, was less involved than the other Terps recruits. He had three points and four rebounds and said he hopes to help Maryland on the boards next season.

Stoglin and Howard said they hoped to compete for playing time next season given the departures of Vasquez and guard Eric Hayes, who was Maryland's best 3-point shooter.

Howard said he was attracted to Maryland partly because he knew there would be holes to fill in the backcourt. It is uncertain whether Howard will get his wish of wearing No. 21. Maryland does not retire players' numbers, although Vasquez, awaiting the NBA draft, is expected to be honored by the school next season.

Markel Starks was named the game's top player. The future Georgetown guard scored 18 points for the Capital team. The game's leading scorer was Jayvaughn Pinkston, who is headed to Villanova. He scored 26 points.

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