Could Terps tweak their starting lineup?

December 31, 2012|By Don Markus | The Baltimore Sun

Is a change to the starting lineup in the works for Maryland?

Mark Turgeon said Monday that he is considering tweaking his lineup for Tuesday’s game against IUPUI at Comcast Center as the Terps get ready for Saturday’s Atlantic Coast Conference opener against Virginia Tech at home.

“I’ll sleep on it tonight and decide,” Turgeon said. “I have a good feel for what lineup I think is our best lineup, what lineup I think is our best defensive lineup. Offensively, I think we have a feel for that. I think the thing that’s nice is that a lot of guys have gotten better. Across the board, guys are really improving at a fast rate, so we don’t have as many holes when we play.”

Asked if the starting lineup is not as important as the rotation, Turgeon said, “In certain games we’ll play close to a 10-man rotation with pretty close to equal minutes, and in certain games [there] will be the guys who won’t be playing as much. I think it might be different in different games. We’ll see. Hopefully that answers your question -- it was kind of long winded. That’s a guy who doesn’t really know for sure.”

The one possibility I can see right now is moving either of his two freshmen, Shaquille Cleare or Charles Mitchell, into the lineup ahead of senior James Padgett, whose production has dropped off offensively the past two games (9 points and 5 rebounds in 39 minutes) and has always had his limitations defensively as well. The other possibility is going to four guards along with Alex Len by using Seth Allen in a starting role. But that is not going to work long term in the ACC.

Turgeon said that he likes to coach “by feel.”

Here’s a question for Turgeon to consider: With 11 straight wins (even against less-than-mediocre competition for the most part) and the team playing pretty well, is a change really necessary?

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