Notes on Alex Len's impressive debut

Turgeon said he had planned to start the center all along

December 28, 2011|By Jeff Barker

Here are notes on Maryland's 83-72 victory over Albany.

Might this be the game where things  turn in the Terps' favor? The players keep saying that having 7-footer Alex Len (14 points, eight rebounds) in the lineup -- along with recently-returned point guard Pe'Shon Howard -- makes it feel like a new team.

With Len on the low block, Maryland's work-in-progress offense more closely resembles a Gary Williams offense to me. Williams liked his offense to go inside-out -- beginning with passes in to the post. Look for the Terps to toss the ball into the post more with Len on the floor. Having Len in the lineup also allows the Terps to gamble more on defense because they've got a big guy protecting the rim. And coach Mark Turgeon sounds like he's hoping Maryland's improved rebounding will allow the Terps to run more.

Is that too ambitious an agenda considering that Len is still young and fairly raw? We'll see.

"At the beginning of the season, somebody asked me, 'What do I think of Alex?'" said reserve forward James Padgett. "I told him, 'Alex is a very good player and you guys will get a chance to see how good he is.' He can do more. He can shoot, he. can rebound, he can block shots," Padgett said

Random musings:

*Turgeon had told the media earlier that he didn't expect to start Len. But, sly fox that he is, Turge conceded after the game that he pretty much knew Len would start all along. The coach said he decided Len should start "because in the long run he has the potential to be pretty good and be our best guy."

*Turgeon said he did not know in advance about the pregame video board message in which Len appeared and said: "“I’m ready to play!”  After seeing the message, the coach said he's sure glad he had decided to start Len because he would have disappointed the fans by keeping the big man on the bench.

*If you're a Terps fan, you hope it's not a coincidence that Terrell Stoglin had a career high six 3-pointers on the same night  Len made his debut. You hope it means that defenses will have to pay more heed to Maryland's inside game, giving Stoglin ample space to do his thing.

*Once again, Padgett had more offensive rebounds (five) than defensive rebounds (two). He didn't start Wednesday, but his second-chance points are an asset for the Terps, right?


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