Before we scout the Demon Deacons, let's crunch some numbers.
The Stoglin Factor
It's time to look past Terrell Stoglin being named to the second team All-ACC. What's done is done. While Stoglin does lead the ACC in scoring with 21.2 ppg, all five members of the first team All-ACC squad rank ahead of the sophomore point guard in field goal percentage (Stoglin is shooting 40.4 percent on the season, 10th best in the ACC).
Now that the Terps are playing for their postseason lives, let's take a closer look at the effect Stoglin's offense has on the team. He has now gone 28-straight games with 10 or more points and is in position to be the first Terp to lead the conference in scoring since Joe Smith led all scorers in the 1994-95 season, averaging 20.8 ppg.
Stoglin's 82 3-pointers this season ranks third on the Maryland single season list. The sophomore can score in a variety of different manners. Along with shooting 40.4 percent from the field, Stoglin is a solid 37.7 percent from long range, good for third in the conference. Always happy to draw some contact, he also leads the conference in free throw attempts per game with 6.4. Not only does he get to the line often, but he also makes his trips count as he is shooting 77.7 percent from the charity stripe on the season.
Despite all of these impressive numbers, the fact of the matter remains that Stoglin is limping into the ACC Tournament. You may not be able to tell by quickly glancing over his stat line, but a closer look reveals some troubling numbers.
Stoglin's slump began after what may have been his best performance of the year, in a Feb. 7 road win at Clemson. That evening, Stoglin shot 9-of-11 (81.8 percent) from the field, including 4-of-6 from long range. He was 5-of-6 from the line and added four steals to his 22-point performance.
Since that game, which also happened to be guard Pe'Shon Howard's last game of the season, Stoglin has been down. In the final seven games of the season, beginning with a Feb. 11 trip to Duke, Stoglin has been shooting a subpar 32.0 percent from the field, with 24 of his 40 made field goals during the stretch coming from beyond the arc. During this seven game skid, Stoglin is averaging 18.8 ppg but is doing so by taking an average of 17 shots per game.
Shot selection has been a key issue for Stoglin and his team's success this season. When Stoglin takes 13 or less shots throughout the course of a game this season, Maryland is 5-2. When he takes 17 or more shots per game, the Terps are 6-9, a winning percentage of 40 percent.
Faust on Fire
So maybe you've seen the shows that freshman guard Nick Faust has been putting on display recently. Impressed? You should be.
The once-timid Faust has begun to assert himself, arising as a much-needed viable scoring option for the Terps in the process. Yet, nobody has been more important to Faust's performance this season than teammate Pe'Shon Howard.
Howard, who has been out twice during the season due to injuries, is a natural point guard. Faust is not. And this is nowhere more evident then in Faust's turnover numbers.
In the nine games to start the season where Faust was without his backcourt counterpart, he averaged 2.7 turnovers per game. During the 14-game stretch where Howard did play, Faust cut his turnovers to 1.5 per game. Yet, since Howard's second exit, the freshman's turnovers have ballooned to 4.1 per game.
However, during this last seven game stretch to close out the season, Faust's offense has taken a significant turn for the better. After kicking things off with a 15-point 8-rebound performance at Duke on Feb. 11, Faust has been averaging 13.0 ppg, 4.1 apg, 5.0 rpg and 1.4 spg. How's that for a stat sheet stuffer?
Shoot Sean, Shoot!
Perhaps one of the most commonly asked questions among the Terrapin faithful remains, Why doesn't Sean Mosley shoot the ball more? Well, take a glance at these numbers and prepare to be even more befuddled.
When Mosley attempts at least 10 field goals in a game this season, he is averaging 18.0 ppg, compared to his season average of 10.4 ppg.
After shooting 6-of-15 from the field Sunday against Virginia, Mosley ended up with just his second double-double of his career, tallying 17 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. His only other double-double came at home against New Hampshire on Nov. 20, 2009, when he went for 13 points and 10 assists.
Maryland is 7-4 when Mosley shoots 50 percent or better from the floor. While we may never again see his silky jumpshot inside of Comcast Center, it could certainly be of use here in Atlanta.
Dealing with the Demon Deacons
Maryland and Wake Forest met only once this season, Jan. 11 at Comcast to kickoff conference play for the Terps. The home team took the contest, 70-64, behind a 20-point effort from Stoglin and a nice 15-point Mosley performance.
Both teams had significant players in foul trouble in the decisive minutes of the contest, as Mosley fouled out after logging only 29 minutes. For Wake, junior standout C.J. Harris was saddled with four fouls in the contest, as he managed only 10 points in 31 minutes, which ties his second-lowest point output and his second-lowest amount of minutes played for the season.
Harris comes into Thursday's matchup averaging a team-high 16.8 ppg, good for fourth in the ACC. In his limited playing time during the January loss to Maryland, Harris struggled from the floor. The junior guard shot 36.4 percent (4-of-11) from the field (47.9 percent on the season, fifth in ACC) and was 0-for-3 from long range (43.2 percent on the season).
When Harris has gone for 20 or more points in a game this season, Wake Forest, a 13-17 team, has gone 8-2.
The Demon Deacons also feature sophomore standout Travis McKie. The 6-foot-7 forward averages 15.9 ppg, good for sixth in the ACC, and 6.9 rpg, 11th in the ACC.
Unlike Harris, McKie was able to have his way with the Terps during their January showdown. The forward turned in a career-high 25 points to go with seven rebounds while shooting 57.1 percent from the floor (8-of-14, 4-of-6 from 3-point).
Tipoff is slated for noon on Thursday. The matchup will be covered on ESPNU and ACC Network. The winner of Thursday's game will go on to face No. 1 seed North Carolina at noon on Friday.