What the hell just happened? A few weeks ago, the Terps were a chic Top 20 pick for next year with expectations of competing for the 2013 ACC title. Now, Terrell Stoglin goes pro after being suspended for the year. How did we get here, and what does it mean?
I know Stoglin and coach Mark Turgeon butted heads, to put it mildly, throughout much of last year. In meeting and interviewing Stoglin he was cocky, but nice. A bit of a contradiction even, because he would say the right things about wanting the best for the team, but then have a sly smile when questions about his passing and assist totals would come up. We all saw the attitude on full display in the Duke loss, and who knows what else happened behind closed doors?
There will be drug questions. The most prevalent rumor I've heard is a third failed drug test. I hate to even wade in this water, as the kid is only 20 years old. People make mistakes, and whatever it is, I hope for the best for Terrell.
Regardless of what happened, it's time to turn the page. Stoglin will never play another minute for the Terps, and despite his proclivity for bad shots and missed passes, he was a standout scorer in a way few Maryland sophomores have ever been. The Terps will miss those points.
But let's not write this team off just yet. With Stoglin gone, the Terps will drop off the Preseason Top 25 radar. Stoglin and departed senior Sean Mosley accounted for almost 50 percent of the Maryland offense last year. You can't just make that up overnight.
Before Terp fans get too upset, remember there is still a lot to like in College Park. Nick Faust seemed to be coming into his own late last year, and he could be an All-ACC caliber player as a sophomore. Word is Alex Len has been in the weight room every day since the ACC tournament, and adding muscle to his 7-foot frame will make him a force.
Much has been made of a talented freshmen class headed to Maryland, full of size and shooters. Previously, there were concerns about enough minutes and shots to go around in the back court with Stoglin and incoming combo-guards-with-similar-game Seth Allen and Sam Cassell Jr. With Stoglin out of the picture, that is no longer a concern.
The loss of Stoglin undoubtedly hurts, and don't let anyone say it doesn't. The kid had serious talent, and shot judgment always improves with maturity. Stoglin's maturity, however, is no longer a concern for Maryland.
In a little over a year, Mark Turgeon has drastically overturned the Terp roster. Despite losing Stoglin, there has been a major infusion of talent up and down the roster. Now Turgeon can put the team he wants on the court. The question remains if that team can win.
I say they can. While the Terps may lack preseason hype, the talent will be there to make a run at 20 wins and an NCAA Tournament bid. Even without Stoglin, I imagine Turgeon expects the same.