The Maryland men’s basketball team suffered a major blow Sunday to its hopes of playing in New York’s Madison Square Garden in the NIT semifinals and finals.
Allen scored 15 points in Maryland's opening round NIT win vs. Niagara. (Photo by Bill Bride)
Freshman guard Seth Allen fractured a bone in his left, shooting hand at the beginning of Maryland’s practice on Sunday. The Woodbridge, Va., native will miss the Terps’ game vs. Alabama in the NIT quarterfinals and is likely sidelined for the remainder of the year even if Maryland advances further in the tournament.
“I know the word is already out, Seth fractured a bone in his shooting hand, his left hand. He will not play tomorrow,” coach Mark Turgeon said after the Terps wrapped up practice Monday. “He will see a specialist when we get back in town. Most likely, even if we advance, Seth is done for the year.
“It happened in practice yesterday, right at the start of practice. He was reaching in. I think it was reaching in. Next thing I know, he’s over here on the sideline. It’s unfortunate. We’ve been so lucky all year with injuries. I feel bad for Seth because he’s been playing really well. It’s a big blow to us because of the way he’s been playing. But it gives other guys an opportunity to step up.”
Allen, who will still travel with the team to Tuscaloosa, Ala., had reached double figures in scoring in four of Maryland’s last five games, averaging 10.8 points in that span. In two NIT games, he’d tallied 28 points on 12-for-22 shooting and recorded eight rebounds, four assists and four steals.
With Allen out of the lineup, the Terps will turn to Pe’Shon Howard almost exclusively at point guard with Nick Faust getting occasional runs at the one.
“It’s the same mentality. Just don’t turn the ball over, keep guarding, try to run the team,” Howard said. “I just have one less shooter to pass the ball to. He’s still in good spirits. That’s the main thing. He’s positive. He’s a happy-go-lucky kid.”
Allen’s absence on Tuesday will mark the first game this season that one of Maryland’s 10 regular rotational players has missed due to injury. Forward John Auslander, one of the Terps reserves, is the only player to miss time with an injury this year.
“I think all of them [have to step up],” Turgeon said. “It hurts us because we’ve been playing our small lineup a lot. We can still play a small lineup, but maybe not as much. Alabama is a bigger, stronger team, but they still play four guards at times. You’ll probably see us playing guys like [James] Padgett, Charles [Mitchell] and Shaq [Cleare]. They’ll get increased minutes. We’ll see how the flow of the game goes.”
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