Returning Players - First Look At The Starters

3/28/2011 2:11:52 PM [Image flickrUrl="http://www.flickr.com/photos/insidemdsports/5284204729/in/photostream/" url="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5289/5284204729_161911690a.jpg" align="Left" caption="Can returning starters Sean Mosley and Jordan Williams connect next season?" credit="Inside Maryland Sports"  width="500" height="333" ]Jordan Williams

It goes without saying that Jordan's continued development (let alone his return to the University for his junior season) are crucial for the Terps to have any success next season. 

While his return is now an open question; I'm working under the assumption that Jordan Williams will be back in College Park next season.  There are just too many factors working against him (he's not even on 2nd round draft boards; the impending NBA lockout; his lack of a face up game; he's only 6'8", and others). 

Jordan needs to continue to work on his conditioning.  That goes without saying.  His better conditioning arguably was the most important factor in his improvement this year.

Additionally, Jordan needs to hone the following skills:

- Passing out of the double-team.  Let's face it; Jordan was at times a black hole this season.  He routinely forced shots while two or more defenders were draped all over him.  Granted, he probably had little faith that his guards could knock down the open jumper; but Jordan needs to learn to always make the right pass within the flow of the offense.
- Face-up game.  If Jordan wants to play in the NBA; he needs to have a wider array of offensive weapons.  Granted, Jordan's post moves are varied and "old school" in the best possible way; but that is not enough in the NBA.  If he can work on taking his defender off the dribble; Jordan would be a lottery pick.
- 10-12 foot jumper.  A jumper probably should be a part of the "Face-Up Game bullet; but I am separating it out because I think it is the most important thing he can do to improve his repertoire.  Developing that jumper will change the dynamic of the offense.  It will free up dribble drives for Terrell Stoglin and P'shon Howard.  If defenders have to respect Jordan from as far out as 12 feet; he'll have the chance to use the dribble drive as well.
- Defense.  Jordan was an All-ACC offensive player this year.  His defense was at best, suspect.  He took plays off.  ACC big men feasted on the Terps this year.  Even Mason Plumlee had a career game against Jordan.  If Jordan wants to make it to the NBA; he needs to be a force on both ends of the floor.

Terrell Stoglin

By all accounts, Terrell Stoglin turned in one of the best freshman campaigns in recent Terp history.  If you have doubts about that, consider the fact Stoglin's points per game average dwarf those of Greivis Vasquez, Jordan Williams, Juan Dixon, and Len Bias.  That's not to say that I'm expecting that he becomes a transcendent player like the others have; but the potential is there.  The off-season question becomes, can Stoglin harvest his potential? What does he need to do to take his game to the next level?

- Court Vision. Stoglin has electrifying speed and a knack for getting to the rack in traffic.  Unfortunately, he lacks point guard quality court vision.  Terrell has a tendency to take matters into his own hands too often.  In high school, he was the best player for miles around and was forced to take games over.  At Maryland, he'll have the best returning big man in the conference (hopefully).  The offense runs through Jordan Williams first. Stoglin needs to become more comfortable with the flex offense and how to properly get the team into Gary's sets.

- Shot selection.  Off balance threes and one on three drives to the basket aren't going to work.  Ever.  Stoglin sometimes feels the need to take the game over and the Terps are worse for his efforts.

- Defense.  His defense was awful last year.  It's one of the key reasons the Terps fell apart down the stretch.  The Terps back court let opposing guards destroy them.  Stoglin should lead the league in steals with his quickness if he focuses on it.

Sean Mosley

Where does one start?  Sean Mosley had an intensely disappointing junior season. He shot 25% from three point range.  I doubt you can find a shooting guard anywhere in Division I with a worst 3PT percentage.  Mosley also turned the ball over way too much.  He almost led the team in turnovers.  For a shooting guard, it's unacceptable.  In short, Mosley needs to be a better shooter and make better decisions.  At this point in his career; I'm not sure he is capable of either.
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