Mark Turgeon on James Graham’s status, George Mason strategy, 3-point shooting and more | #schoolshooting

Suspended freshman James Graham. who missed Maryland basketball’s past two games, has returned to the team and will be back in uniform for tonight’s game against George Mason, Terps coach Mark Turgeon said on Tuesday.

“Yeah, he’s back on the team. Had a conversation yesterday and just was all in-house stuff. Like, just basketball-related stuff and just trying to help him navigate some things. And he’s on the team, so he did practice today. He’ll suit up. He didn’t practice yesterday because he was sick. So he’ll suit up tomorrow night,” he said.

The Terps are off to a 3-0 start despite frigid 23.4 percent 3-point shooting.

“We‘re missing a lot of open threes, too … Let’s say we missed the nine wide-open threes. You make three of those, that’s a big change. That’s a big change in the game. So winning by 11 — you win by 20 [of you make three],” he said. “So it’s a big deal, but we were great with the ball, we had seven turnovers the other day, which was terrific. That was a step. We’re gonna be really challenged tomorrow because they pressure the ball and really get after you, but you know, hey, we’re growing. We’ll get better. It’s a matter of time.”

New point guard Fatts Russell has carried a chunk of the load. The Rhode Island grad transfer leads the Terps in scoring (16.3 PPG), is tied for the team lead in assists per game (2.3) and is chipping in with 4.3 rebounds despite his 5-foot-9 stature.

“He’s capable of doing it. Some nights he’s gonna have eight points and eight assists, and he would have a lot more assists when [shots] start dropping a little more for us. Defensively, no I’m not concerned. I don’t want him guarding seven-foot, 250 [pound] guys obviously,” Turgeon said. “We did some switching the other day and he got caught on the big guy, but he was six-eight, 220. I know it’s a lot bigger than Fatts, but we can do that and our team defense has to be great when we do it. I want to keep him fresh. I don’t want to play Eric and him 35 minutes a game right now if I can help it. I didn’t play Ian enough in that game Saturday or whenever.”

He’s expecting the Patriots, who are off to a dominant 3-0 start, to double-team starting center Qudus Wahab after Vermont successfully hounded the 6-10 junior.

“Didn’t handle the double team very well, so I imagine Mason’s gonna double team this tomorrow night. I think we’re gonna — you know, we had two days to work on it. Hopefully we’re gonna handle it better. Maybe they won’t double us. It’s up to their coaches and their players what they’re gonna do, but we’re prepared either way. So it’s a work in progress. It’s a work in progress.

Read on below for more from Turgeon on George Mason, Eric Ayala, Kim English and more:

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