Logan Aronhalt Has Become the X-Factor for the Maryland Terrapins

Ryan SatskyContributor IIINovember 28, 2012

Nov 27, 2012; Evanston, IL, USA; Maryland Terrapins guard Logan Aronhalt (2) reacts after making a three point shot against the Northwestern Wildcats during the second half at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Maryland Terrapins defeated the Northwestern Wildcats 77-57.  Mandatory Credit: David Banks-US PRESSWIRE

Following Maryland's first four games this season, it seemed as if Albany transfer Logan Aronhalt was going to discover the ugly way that a 10-man rotation is nearly unmanageable for a 40-minute college basketball contest.

That has quickly changed after Aronhalt's performances against Georgia Southern and Northwestern.

For the past two seasons, Maryland had been missing a three-point shooting specialist. When it needed a crucial three-pointer, Maryland didn't have that reliable long-ball threat hanging around on the perimeter.

That's why, in his first complete offseason, head coach Mark Turgeon made it a priority to reel in a proven, capable long-range shooter.

Logan Aronhalt is that shooter.

But his first four games were far from inspiring. He sunk just three three-pointers during that stretch, and his lack of productivity took away from his minutes.

Finally, against Southern Conference opponent Georgia Southern, Aronhalt got into a groove. He finished the game with 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting from deep.

Against a much tougher, more talented foe in Northwestern, the ex-Albany shooting guard continued his stellar outside-shooting display, knocking down 3-of-5 shots from beyond the arc.

A high shot percentage is always nice, but it was the timeliness of Aronhalt's buckets that provides optimism for the future. Despite eventually winning the Big Ten-ACC Challenge game by 20, the Terps only led by a two-point margin at the half.

After dominant spurts by Alex Len and Dez Wells extended Maryland's lead into double digits, Aronhalt served as the dagger that buried Northwestern's hopes for a comeback.

In prior years, Maryland didn't possess this type of unique talent on the roster. That void often led to second-half collapses, because Maryland didn't have a clutch shooter to close out ballgames.

Aronhalt's efficiency and quick scoring outbursts have made him the ultimate X-factor for Maryland. He'll step in the game for a few minutes at a time and extend Maryland's lead to a point where the opponent can't recover.

Athletically, he's nothing special. Fundamentally, he's not outstanding.

But Logan Aronhalt has found his niche beyond the three-point line, and it's paying big dividends as Maryland sits at 5-1.