Puerto Rico notes: Stoglin's ups and downs, Faust's learning curve

November 19, 2011|By Jeff Barker | The Baltimore Sun

Notes from the Puerto Rico Tip-Off:

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Assistant coach Scott Spinelli sat in the lobby of Maryland’s beachfront hotel on Saturday and attempted to verbally chart the progress of sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin.

Consider the strange arc of Stoglin’s season so far:

It began when head coach Mark Turgeon wanted to send a message to the player by not starting him in the opener against UNC-Wilmington.  

“There were some things that Coach Turgeon wanted Terrell to work a little harder on in practice. (He) didn’t start him, and Terrell responded by coming out and playing extremely well in that game,” said Spinelli, who followed Turgeon to Maryland from Texas A&M in the offseason.

After scoring 22 points against the Seahawks, Stoglin struggled (0-for-9 from the floor) in Maryland’s second game – a 20-point loss to Alabama Thursday in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

But then the guard went off against Colorado in Friday night’s Tip-Off game – a career-high 32 points, including 25 in the second half.

“He’s very aggressive at times , sometimes overly aggressive,” Spinelli said. “I think he’s forcing it in the sense that he really wants to do well for them team, not just for himself. (Against Colorado)  he got in the zone. Some of the shots he was taking I think we were fine with because he hit two or three in a row. He’s got to find a way to get himself going. He started driving the ball more.”

It was telling that Stoglin said after the Colorado game: "I just wanted to listen to coach tonight and it worked."

Spinelli said there was a natural period in which first-year coach Turgeon and second-year player Stoglin had to figure each other out. “Any time there is a change like there was, some personalities have to be able to mesh,” Spinelli said.

The Terps (2-1) next face Iona on Sunday (2:00 Eastern) in their third and final game here.

*****

Maryland’s traveling party to Puerto Rico includes not only players and coaches, but also an academic advisor and massage therapist.

With such a long road trip – the team arrived last Tuesday and flies home Monday – the players need to study and to stay fresh.

Saturday’s off day was spent practicing, studying and attending a team dinner.

*****

Freshman Nick Faust is still learning – not only the college game but also the pre-game introductions.

In his first introduction here by the public-address announcer, Faust couldn’t find the opposing player he was supposed to shake hands with.

“He ran out and there was no one at half court. So he ran on the other side to introduce himself. It was a cute thing,” Spinelli said.

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