Gary of Williams. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Ben Broman has frequented our cyber-vicinity for a couple years now. He is THE Maryland blogger on the interwebs and finds his home at Testudo Times. In waning moments of yestermorn, Ben and I decided to exchange a Q/A. Click the jump to read.FTRS: We haven't talked since October 5th. How do Terp fans feel after one season of Randy Edsall? If you take away the whole "burning diploma" comment, what percentage of Marylanders really miss the Fridge from a football perspective?
Ben: Fairly negative on Edsall, if we're being nice. There's actually a substantial portion of the fan base that bears him personal ill will, and a lot that wanted him to be fired after one year. Basically, if he could've done something wrong, he did it: he took names off the jerseys, he came off as a disciplinarian asshole, he showed no real emotion, he couldn't coach, he couldn't motivate, and most of all he couldn't win. The offseason has been kinder to him, mostly because he hired Mike Locksley and turned recruiting around in a big way. Getting talent can fix a lot of problems.FTRS: Jordan Williams is finally gone. The stats show a mix and mash of forwards and centers rotating for Maryland. Who is really stepping up to fill that void?
As for Friedgen: there are a few people on the margins that really miss him and think he got a raw deal, but most fans - I'd say well over 80% - understand that he had to go for a number of reasons. The problem was never with firing Ralph Friedgen so much as it was with hiring Randy Edsall. The "flying the flag" comment dissolved most of his support among Maryland fans.
Ben: Jordan left a pretty big hole in the middle, without a doubt, but the stats will probably mislead a bit as far as who's replacing him. Alex Len, a 7-1 Ukrainian freshman, is starting at the 5, but he only just became eligible after having to serve a 10-game suspension for playing a few club games back in Europe. He's looked pretty fantastic so far; there was some chatter about him having lotto potential, and while I wouldn't go that far, his size, athleticism, and skill set make him a handful in the post. He's not strong enough yet and still very raw, but if he stays in College Park for another year he'll be a terror.FTRS: Tell Tech fans the difference between sophomore and freshman Terrell Stoglin. We haven't seen Terrell play yet this season and would like to know how he's matured (or hasn't) since the 2010-2011 season. Who else is playing well for the Terps in the backcourt?
The 4 spot is manned by a combination of James Padgett - statistically the best offensive rebounder in the conference, but that's basically the extent of his game - and Ashton Pankey, a redshirt freshman who's athletic and strong but not really there yet mentally. The front-court isn't great right now but I certainly wouldn't call it a big weakness for Maryland.
strong>Ben: I think he's pretty substantially different, and much better. Stoglin is as good a pure scorer as I've seen in some time, but make no mistake about it - he's still a chucker, which means he'll be taking a lot of shots, and a good number of them will be bad ones. But he's still a blast to watch once he gets into #StogMode and can put up points literally any way you could imagine: he can catch-and-shoot from three with increasingly deadly accuracy, he can beat his man off the dribble and hit runners and mid-range jumpers, or force contact at the rim and get to the line.FTRS: We've got 16 or so games down in the season. After watching the Terps struggle against Bama (like Tech) but knock off Notre Dame, what're the postseason goals for this particular Terps squad? Where do you think the Terps will finish in the ACC standings?
For the second part of your question … pretty much no one. Pe'Shon Howard is running point but he can't buy a bucket right now and his passing is usually a bit too ambitious, which leads to needless turnovers. Nick Faust on the wing was a really highly-regarded freshman but he's way behind where people expected him to be; he wants to be a sniper from outside but has one of the ugliest shots on the team. Sean Mosley is manning the 3 for Maryland right now but he's the closest thing they have to a secondary perimeter scorer; thing is, he's sort-of hit-and-miss in his own right. By and large, when Stogs isn't hitting, ain't nobody hitting.
Ben: I've said several times that I think this team has an NCAA Tournament ceiling - that is, they could get there if they get the right breaks. In fact, I think that by the end of the year, they'll be as good as most NCAA Tournament teams; problem is, they won't have the resumé of one, and that means they won't get in. I do think it's reached a point where the fan base is expecting an NIT appearance, and though that sounds a bit depressing for Maryland fans, considering where things were a few months ago I'd be ecstatic with it. They could finish anywhere between 6th and 10th in the ACC; I'd probably expect 8th or 9th.FTRS: Georgia Tech is playing its best basketball of the season in ACC play, which is a little disconcerting to myself as an ACC fan. Are the Terp fans worried about their home game against the heating up Yellow Jackets? Any predictions?
Ben: Yes. Maryland fans were worried against Mt. St. Mary's and Florida International; against a Georgia Tech team that just beat N.C. State on the road, there are a lot of concerned fans. I do think Maryland will win in a close one with GT basically playing over their head right now, but I wouldn't be in the least surprised to see the Jackets win this one, even handily. I'll say Maryland in a very close one, somewhere around 78-73 or so. Home court advantage is the deciding factor.Thanks goes out to Ben for helping us out. Let's beat those Terps!