Notes on Florida State 84, Maryland 70

Turgeon says he needs more from Alex Len

January 18, 2012|By Jeff Barker | The Baltimore Sun

"He looked like a man among boys."

That's what Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said tonight about Florida State center Bernard James, a 26-year-old shot blocker who served with the Air Force in southern Iraq.

James scored 17 points and had six rebounds.

Maryland center Alex Len looked somehow diminished against James and the rest of Florida State's front court, which comes at you in waves. Big waves.

The Education of Alex Len, these most recent Maryland games might be called.

Len shot 1-for-2 from the floor, and Turgeon said bluntly afterward that he needs to play better and shoot more. 

“He only had one play all game where he looked like Alex. He’s got to play better,” Turgeon said. That play was made on defense in the second half.

 Here's an important statistic about Len: he is 19-years-old. Turgeon noted that after the Florida State game. Len is still a kid.

Hearing Turgeon mention Len's age reminded me of what the coach told me before the season.

Len is "one of those guys [that] at the end of the year I think you'll look and say he's our most improved player," Turgeon said.

At the least, the quote can remind us that Len is at the beginning of what Terps fans hope is a steep upward arc.

Other notes about the game:

*Turgeon was disappointed in what he called a "reach-around" foul committed by Pe'Shon Howard in the second half -- Howard's fourth foul. The coach said it was not a smart foul. He referred to Howard as the "point guard" rather than by name.

*Terrell Stoglin took twice as many shots (17) as any other Terp. He had four assists. Did you notice the play in which he missed a 3-pointer but raced all the way back downcourt to foul Ian Miller with 16;13 left in the game? Turgeon wished he had seen more transition defense like that.

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