Mark Turgeon offered a clarification of sorts, one it seemed the old point guard and current Maryland basketball coach felt obligated to make as his Terrapins (15-4, 3-3 ACC) head into Saturday's game against Duke.
Dez Wells handled the ball for swaths of the second half Tuesday. So he was playing a new position, right?
"Dez isn’t playing point guard, so let’s not get caught up in that," Turgeon said. "We’ll run a play and go hand him the ball, so it’s not like he’s coming up. I’m calling the play for him."
Whatever you wish to call Wells, it was undeniable how much he helped the Terps escape with a 64-59 victory over Boston College in College Park.
While he wasn't engaged on offense in the first half, he finished with eight assists to go with five points and five rebounds as Maryland tried a look it had only recently started tinkering with.
"It was an adjustment I got accustomed to really fast, so it wasn't really that big of a change for me," Wells said. "It was a difference, so I just wanted to make plays for my team and make the right plays and work on my decision-making."
It wasn't a completely foreign experience for Wells, who played the point in his lone year at Hargrave MIlitary Academy. The greater question, though, is whether this was a hint of what is to come.
Pe'Shon Howard had something of a bounceback game Tuesday, playing 20 solid if unremarkable minutes. Seth Allen appears likely to play mostly off the ball the rest of the way. And Nick Faust, whose ballhandling responsibilites have increased of late, isn't a traditional point guard.
Wells doesn't fit that mold, either, but he is a capable passer who has spoken at length this season about eliminating turnovers.
"I think he’s going to have the ball more," Turgeon said. "Is he going to start at point guard? No, because that would flat wear him out as the game goes on. There will be certain situations, certain lineups, certain plays that we call where he’ll have the ball. If he starts to look tired, we’ll go in another direction. Probably moreso in the small lineup, he’ll have the ball in his hands to make plays. He’ll have shooters around him, which opens things up and he sees the floor pretty well. Nick will have it, too, and so will Seth in those areas coming off ball screens. It’s things we’re implementing trying to score more buckets."
And putting the ball in the hands of a man who understands his best way of scoring is to drive to the basket might just do that --- even if Wells really isn't a point guard.
"I can create my own shot, so just creating shots for other guys off my penetration or just making easy passes," Wells said. "However the defense plays me, just adjusting to that."
--- Patrick Stevens