How close is Seth Allen to starting for Maryland?

How close is Seth Allen to starting for Maryland?
January 12, 2014, 1:45 pm
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Maryland looks to rebound against Noles

(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

COLLEGE PARK--It continues to be the fact that Maryland has to live with. Yes, Seth Allen is back. But Seth Allen isn’t back.

The sophomore returned from surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot on Dec. 29 against Tulsa, but is still not back to 100 percent as Maryland prepares to take on Florida State on Sunday night.

“He’s scoring pretty well. He’s just not doing it at the other end,” head coach Mark Turgeon said on Saturday. “I imagine he’ll be better [Sunday] night than he was at Pittsburgh. He’s had six days to get himself ready.”

There are positive ripple effects of Allen’s return, more than just the 12.3 points and 2.8 assists per game that he’s tallying in the box score.

He’s giving Maryland depth in the backcourt for the first time this season, meaning more reasonable minutes across the board, and helping players like Dez Wells play in their natural positions more often.

But when the Terrapins take the floor Sunday night, you can most likely expect that Allen will again be coming off the bench while freshman Roddy Peters starts.

[RELATED: Previewing Maryland's Sunday night matchup with Florida State]

Allen said Saturday that he feels he’s at a point where he could start if asked, but he continues to stick with the plan laid out for him by the coaching staff. For now, that’s off the bench.

“I don’t really think about it,” Allen said of staring. “I just try, whenever I do get in, try to make a play for my teammates and try to just bring energy when I do get in.”

Against Florida State, a team with two seven-footers and a good deal of length on the defensive end, it will be Allen’s job to help stretch the defense toward the perimeter, which should then open up driving lanes for himself, Wells, and sophomore Jake Layman.

Allen is shooting at a 52.4 percent clip from long range, which is actually 12.4 percentage points higher than his overall field-goal percentage. That could in part come from the lack of explosiveness in his first step at the moment, as Allen still works to regain top form after surgery.

“Each day there’s a little less limp on him,” Turgeon said. “Seth’s a work in progress, but he’s better than he was.”

Allen echoed that sentiment shortly after.

“I feel better every day.”

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