Terps' Howard suspended for Duke game

Terps' Howard suspended for Duke game
February 15, 2013, 3:30 pm
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Terps prepare for big game vs. Duke

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland point guard Pe’Shon Howard has been suspended for Saturday’s game against Duke and possibly beyond.

"He’s not making very smart decisions. We got team rules you've got to follow," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said on Friday. "We’ll sit him out this game and reevaluate on Sunday."

Turgeon would not reveal why Howard was being suspended but said that he will be re-evaluated after this weekend. The Maryland coach said that Howard had played well in the last two games, and that coming off the bench instead of starting seemed to take pressure off the junior guard.

"He’s just got to make better decisions," Turgeon said of Howard. "He’ll miss one game, maybe two, maybe three. I want him to learn from his decisions."

Howard will not be with the team on the bench against Duke, and Turgeon said freshman guard Seth Allen will play more at point guard with Howard suspended. Allen and sophomore guard/forward Nick Faust will mainly play point guard, Turgeon explained, and Howard's suspension will also mean more minutes for other wing players Jake Layman, Logan Aronhalt and Dez Wells. 

Asked if the suspension was because of an accumulation of rules violations, Turgeon said that would not be a fair characterization of the situation. The coach would not elaborate from there. 

Through an up and down career marred by injuries, Howard is one of the few players on the current Terps roster recruited by former coach Gary Williams. Howard also missed Maryland's loss to Florida State on Jan. 30 with the flu. 

For the season Howard averages 22 minutes a game, down from almost 33 minutes per game last season. His scoring is also down this year, from 6.5 ppg in 2011-2012 to 3.3 this season. Howard only played in 14 games last season, dealing with an injured foot to open the season before a knee injury finished his year prematurely.

Though Howard is not much of a scorer, he averaged more than four assists per game this season, including 10 games with more than five assists. In a November win over LIU-Brooklyn, Howard piled up 13 assists. He is also considered one of the better on-ball defenders on Maryland's roster.

In the Terps last game, an 80-69 loss to Virginia, Howard scored five points with a steal, a turnover and two assists during 17 minutes of action.