Maryland freshman center Diamond Stone will again come off the bench on Saturday against Northwestern, only days after he set a school record by scoring 39 points in a come-from-behind victory over Penn State on Wednesday evening, head coach Mark Turgeon says.
Stone broke the school's single-game freshman scoring record, which had stood since Joe Smith scored 33 points in Dec. 1993 against Rider.
Mark Turgeon said that Diamond Stone will come off the bench again Saturday at Northwestern after freshman record 39-pt performance vs. PSU.
— Don Markus (@sportsprof56) January 1, 2016
Such a breakout performance presented Turgeon with a problem. He seems to have found something by bringing Stone off the bench, simultaneously boosting his first-unit defense and his second-unit offense.
It has given Stone more favorable matchups when he enters the game, often against backup forwards. It has also split up Damonte Dodd and Michal Cekovsky, two players with similar skill sets who function better on the floor at different times.
But it is difficult from an optics perspective to keep a player like Stone in the sixth man's role after a showing like he had vs. Penn State.
"I kind of accepted it and realized we're a team. It's not just all about me," Stone said after Maryland's win over Marshall. "If we're winning and I'm coming off the bench, then it's a good win. It's no more individual goals anymore. This is college. We're all one."
Ultimately, though, coming off the bench can be little more than a footnote. He played 32 minutes against Penn State and started the second half on the floor for the Terrapins.
Just because he is not in the starting lineup doesn't mean he cannot affect the game like a starter.
At least for Saturday, that appears to be the plan for Turgeon and the Terrapins.