Probably the most jarring individual turnabout over Maryland's last two games was the sudden regression of junior guard Pe'Shon Howard.
A week ago, Howard had 81 assists and 27 turnovers, a nifty ratio that backed up team-wide praise for how he handled the many options in the Terrapins' offense.
And since? He has two assists and four turnovers in 41 minutes, and is now 0-for-the-ACC (0-for-13, to be precise) from the field for the Terps (13-3, 1-2).
While some regression was to be expected across the roster by dint of better competition, Howard's struggles are still startling.
For his part, coach Mark Turgeon was perhaps even blunter than usual (if that's even possible) about his starting point guard for 14 of 16 games to date.
"My message since the last game is quit feeling sorry for yourself, because no one else is," Turgeon said. "OK, maybe your dad is, but no one else is feeling sorry for you, so you get your head out and start playing the way you’re supposed to play. Quit pouting and feeling sorry for yourself. That’s my message because I guarantee you North Carolina State isn’t feeling sorry for him. Neither is North Carolina. He needs to step up and be a junior for us."
Yep, that's plenty direct. And it leaves little room for interpretation.
Of everyone in Maryland's rotation, Howard might be the most interesting to keep an eye on entering Wednesday's date with No. 14 N.C. State (14-2, 3-0). With Nick Faust expected to play more at the point than at any stage this season, Howard could wind up on the spot to bounce back quick --- or risk having his playing time shrink as the Terps venture deeper into the second half of the season.