October 17, 2019

Maryland Terrapins 2015-16 Season Position Outlook: Shooting Guard

Out of all five positions in the Maryland Terrapins rotation, shooting guard is likely the one that has the most wrinkles to iron out before conference play. The only problem for Maryland is that they have early tests during non-conference play with bouts against Georgetown, UNC, and UConn, which will test them as soon as the season starts. The three players who will likely see the majority of the minutes at the two-guard position include Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon, sharpshooting and lengthy Jared Nickens, and highly recruited Dion Wiley. All excel at different things, but it will be Mark Turgeon‘s job to determine who exactly fits best with the starting rotation.

(Photo by: @kingsulaimon0)

(Photo by: @kingsulaimon0)

To me, I would start Rasheed Sulaimon alongside Melo Trimble because of his veteran leadership and excellent defense he can bring to the team. A one time five-star recruit and #12 ranked player in his class, Sulaimon decided to become a Terp because he trusted Coach Turgeon from his days at Texas A&M after graduating from Duke over the past summer. Turgeon expressed his affection for Sulaimon as a person and also was glad that he was starting to develop into the leader that they lost last year in Dez Wells.

Despite the rumors and reports, Sulaimon is a genuinely nice young man in my brief experiences with him. Even though he has just been on campus for a few months, he already seems to be gelling with the likes of Trimble and Diamond Stone. With the fire power on offense that the starting lineup has from the non-shooting guard positions, I think Sulaimon’s defense and willingness not to demand a certain amount of touches makes him the perfect complement.

(Photo by: @wiley_5)

(Photo by: @wiley_5)

Even though I may think that Sulaimon is more suited for the starting rotation, there will be early questions on whether a couple of months is enough time to get into a complete chemistry with his new teammates rather than easing the former Blue Devil in. Nickens and Wiley have been around the rest of the guys for a year and a half now and probably can judge and anticipate a play even before it transpires.

Although a lower level recruit, Nickens developed into a mainstay in the Terps lineup last year. At 6′ 7”. Maryland liked his length from a defensive stand point similarly to that of Jake Layman’s. If Sulaimon is to start ahead of him at shooting guard, there is a high probability that Nickens will actually revert to backing up Layman at the small forward position. Although he will be asked to do more further down the road in his career when he is one of the stars on the court, Turgeon will likely use Nickens as a three point shooting specialist. The New Jersey native scored over 80% of his points from the beyond the arc where he shot it at 39 percent, which is actually above his overall 37.8 percent shooting from the field. With another year under his belt to work on his shot, Nickens will be a key component to the Terps championship aspirations.

The production was not necessarily there for Wiley towards the end of the season where he was delegated to play only in spot minutes for the Terps, but there is a reason why the Oxon Hill product was the third ranked player in the state of Maryland last year. Wiley is more of a creating off the dribble guard and could possibly serve as an emergency point guard because of his ability to distribute the rock. When taking part in the Maryland 2A State Championship two years ago Wiley was able to take over games at will, which is something that will help continue Maryland’s success in the near future. Similar to Nickens, Wiley will likely be utilized as a change of pace flavor that can knock down a shot if everyone else is cold beyond recognition.

The shooting guard position is probably not settled at any level and Turgeon will likely use non-conference games against weaker opponents to experiment with his dilemma of having too many options. As was mentioned yesterday, starting point guard Melo Trimble could also see spot minutes at shooting guard because of the presence of a great distributor in junior college transfer Jaylen Brantley. Through extensive practice time and game time, we should expect the rotation and bench options to be set heading into the stretch run of conference play before the start of the Big Dance.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

Trackbacks

  1. […] was projected to be the backup shooting guard to Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon, but Mark Turgeon will now have to reshuffle his depth to […]

%d bloggers like this: