Maryland sophomore Terrell Stoglin entered the year with predictably high expectations. While the same cannot be said for his team, those who watched Stoglin provide a spark off Gary Williams' bench last season saw a glimpse of what he brings to the table as a combo-guard. And with the training wheels now off, and the keys to the offense firmly in his hands, a breakout season in 2011-12 seemed like a certainty.
For the most part, that's how things have gone through seven Maryland games. Stoglin has been the big-time scorer everyone expected, pouring in 22.4 points per night. His numbers and usage rate right now also suggest that he'll be in the ACC scoring race for the long haul. But his ascension to the No. 1 role has come with a hefty price, and it's conceivable that his team won't truly realize this until it's too late.
Remember, Stoglin is Maryland's star point guard. He was easily the best passer on the roster last season, even while serving in a somewhat-limited role. But now, the ripple effect of taking all of these shots (16.14/gm) is that he's rarely, if ever, around to get his teammates involved. The transformation from an off-the-bench pass-first guard to a high volume scorer has been drastic:
Often times we see freshmen differ to older, more experience teammates when they come off the bench. But the numbers above paint two vastly different pictures, and it's safe to say Stoglin has made a full transition into a shooting guard in year two. This would be perfectly fine if he didn't play on one of the worst passing teams in college basketball. Instead it's a glaring red flag.
The Terps need to make an educated decision on what they actually want Stoglin to be. He's clearly the best scorer AND the best passer on the roster, but his passing ability feels like an afterthought in Maryland's current offensive set. Letting him shoot, shoot and then shoot the rock again just doesn't seem logical when the team's other point guards, Nick Faust and Sean Mosley, each sport negative assist to turnover ratios.
There's a middle ground here that Stoglin, and his coaches, need to realize. We saw this with Kemba Walker last season, and how he came out of the gate scoring a ton of points, realized he wasn't putting enough trust in teammates and then finally altered his mindset to be more of a willing passer as the year wore on. The go-to role will always be there for the taking, and players in Stoglin's mold need to acknowledge this.
Maryland has a rare talent on its hands in Stoglin. But if this team is going to accomplish anything in 2011-12 it's going to take more than Stoglin trying to go 1-on-5 with the opposing team.