Terps v. Samford Thread

12/30/2011 8:59:47 PM The Terps fanbase is still abuzz from Tuesday's enthralling debut of Alex Len.  His performance showcased immense raw skill and potential.

Len began his night on fire, nailing his first four shots.  It wasn't all peanuts and balloons as Len cooled off in the second half and also demonstrated his lack of experience with turnovers and an unnecessary goaltending.  But still, it would be hard for any rational Terp fan to be anything but ecstatic after the game.

My unscientific opinion is that if Len had been a "normal" 2011 recruit, the major rating services would have listed Len as a Top 50 player coming out.  I think that is a conservative estimate.

His raw potential is off the charts.  He's a 7 footer with agility who can run the floor.  He's got a nice touch on his jumper too.  Guys like that don't just come around all the time.

The other 8 Terps in the rotation are going to benefit tremendously from Len's presence.  We saw a little of that on Tuesday night. For instance, I expect the perimeter defense to significantly improve over the next month thanks to Len.  Stoglin and Howard are not exactly "lock-down" defenders; but now they will have the luxury of staying put in a man to man scheme.  They won't have to be as concerned with drives to the hoop because Len is in the middle to shut things down.  Instead, they'll be able to focus on stopping guys from getting open looks on the perimeter.

There will also be lots of open looks to go around on the offensive end as Len will command a double team down on the block.  We saw evidence of that on Tuesday. 

Still, Albany kept the game disturbingly close.  I think things will be different today.  Look for the Terps to get a handle on turnovers and to play better defense.

A 20+ point win would be a great end to the year.  As we look to 2012, the Terps could become one of the biggest surprises in the country.  I think this Terps squad could be the most balanced team we've seen in these parts since 2003.  Who could have imagined that?
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