Maryland's Alex Len took only six shots in Saturday's loss to Duke, the sort of number that stands out when you're a skilled 7-foot-1 center mentioned as a potential (likely?) NBA lottery pick.
It was Len's fewest shots in conference play, and his eight points were his fewest since a six-point outing against Delaware State on Dec. 29.
So those aren't regular numbers, but they do stand out simply because Len is an element so few teams have. Granted, he's faced double teams on a regular basis and is averaging a healthy 13.2 points and 8.3 rebounds.
Still, it's worth wondering if the Terrapins (15-5, 3-4 ACC) get him the ball enough. It can certainly be asked of Saturday's game.
"Duke did a nice job on him," coach Mark Turgeon said. "We just got a little behind and panicked offensively. He was being too finesse, with fadeaway jumpers. ... There was a little bit of frustration on my part with him. Should he have probably touched the ball more? Probably so. Would it have made a difference in the outcome? Absolutely not."
No argument there. But here's some quick research that yielded something interesting: Len is 20th in the ACC in the percentage of his team's shots.
Chalk some of that up to balance and a deep rotation, as well as a middling nonconference schedule that allowed the Terps to limit Len to less than 30 minutes on all but three occasions in their first 14 games.
But does that account for everything?
PERCENTAGE OF HIS TEAM'S FIELD GOAL ATTEMPTS, ACC 2012-13
28.12: Erick Green, Virginia Tech
22.53: Ryan Anderson, Boston College
21.62: Joe Harris, Virginia
20.52: Olivier Hanlan, Boston College
19.65: Travis McKie, Wake Forest
19.32: Jarell Eddie, Virginia Tech
18.69: James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina
18.66: Kenny Kadji, Miami
18.65: Seth Curry, Duke
18.56: Shane Larkin, Miami
18.47: Mason Plumlee, Duke
18.21: Lorenzo Brown, N.C. State
17.91: Michael Snaer, Florida State
17.48: Devin Booker, Clemson
17.42: C.J. Leslie, N.C. State
17.29: C.J. Harris, Wake Forest
16.94: Akil Mitchell, Virginia
16.89: Robert Brown, Virginia Tech
16.68: K.J. McDaniels, Clemson
16.65: Alex Len, Maryland
That's hardly an end-all, and Len does still lead Maryland in shot attempts. Of course, he isn't too far ahead of Dez Wells (15.59 percent of the Terps' shots, including an efficient 59 percent on 2-point tries) and Nick Faust (14.44 percent of Maryland's field goal tries).
When the subject was broached with Len on Tuesday, he noted Turgeon's recent emphasis to him is on defense rather than offense.
"I talked to coach and he said he wants me to more active on the defensive end," Len said. "On offense, he said I’m going to get the ball more against certain teams. But he wants me to bring it every day on the defensive end."
Len hasn't been the shot-blocking force in conference play that he was in the season's early stages. But it will be curious to see if Maryland tries to expand the sophomore's role at the other end in the weeks to come.
--- Patrick Stevens