Maryland Terrapins Just Fine Following Stoglin Departure

The chance for the Maryland Terrapins men’s basketball team to build on a productive 2011-12 just became a little bit tougher, but not impossible.

Maryland guard Terrell Stoglin, the Atlantic Coast Conference’s leading scorer last season will enter the NBA Draft. However, he had a little help from the school with his decision making process. Stoglin’s decision came after the Terps announced that Stoglin, and forward Mychal Parker, had been suspended from the school for one year for violating the student-athlete code of conduct. To read the released statement click here.

Inside Maryland Sports was the first to break the news on Monday morning and the Baltimore Sun also reported that Stoglin would not return to the Terps. Maryland put out a news release on Monday morning stating that Stoglin and Parker, who had announced his intention to transfer earlier in the month, had both been suspended from the school for one year for violating the student-athlete code of conduct.

Stoglin (l) and Faust (R)

The 6-foot-1 Stoglin then decided to enter his name in for the NBA Draft on Sunday.

“Being a University of Maryland student-athlete carries a tremendous honor and responsibility,” Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson said in a statement. “As much as we appreciate the effort these two young men gave to the program this season, they were unable to live up to that responsibility. We’re disappointed, but hope they use this as a learning experience.”

Stoglin, who averaged 21.6 points per game on 41.3 percent shooting, filed on the last possible day the NBA allows players to declare for the June draft.  Just five weeks ago, Stoglin told Inside Maryland Sports that he planned to return for his junior season.

Stoglin became the first Terp in 17 years to lead the ACC in scoring. The last Terp to accomplish the feat was Joe Smith in 1995. According to the report, athletic department officials on Sunday night declined comment.

Stoglin’s father, Joe, said Sunday night, “I don’t know what’s going on. I haven’t heard from the coaches or anything.” What a shock that pops does not know anything, but are you honestly surprised by this turn of events. I’m not, and when you consider Stoglin’s rocky relationship with Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon, who benched the sophomore at times last season for taking bad shots or not playing adequate defense, it seems like this was just the next step in the process. Bad attitudes, selfish play, and now he gets to become a prima donna player in the NBA, maybe.

I say good for Stoglin, but more importantly, good for Mark Turgeon and the University of Maryland men’s basketball team. This is the second consecutive season that the Terps have lost a major piece of the puzzle unexpectedly. Last March, Jordan Williams declared, but did not hire an agent immediately. The 6-10, 260-pound forward was drafted in the second round (36th overall) by the New Jersey Nets, and finished his rookie season averaging 4.6 points, and 3.6 rebounds per game.

Six weeks following the departure of Jordan Williams, head coach Gary Williams shocked the college basketball world and abruptly resigned. Williams was visibly annoyed with the decision by Jordan Williams, and seemed to be fed up with the process of recruiting.

Gary Williams was often criticized for failing to land numerous star local recruits for various reasons, and Jordan Williams’s decision seemed to be the last straw for the 22-year coach. Williams posted a 461-252 record at College Park, took the school to two Final Four’s (2001 & 2002), and delivered the schools lone National Championship in men’s basketball in 2002.

Williams did not exactly leave new head Coach Mark Turgeon with an ACC competitive roster, and the Terps record during the past two seasons reflects this. Maryland is 36-29 with no post-season tournament appearances since 2010, when they lost in the second round to eventual Final Four participant, Michigan State.

Since posting a 13-3 conference mark in 2010, The Terps has floundered in ACC play with a 13-19 record. Maryland is 0-9 including the ACC tournament vs. conference rivals Duke and North Carolina during the two-year span.

The Terps have just three NCAA Tournament appearances during the last eight seasons, but were touted as a possible top 25 team to watch next season following a victory over Georgia Tech in this year’s ACC tournament. However, that was when Maryland was going to possess a backcourt of Stoglin and sophomore guard, Nick Faust next season.

Maryland was thought to have one of the top backcourts in the ACC returning next season, and if Stoglin and Faust matured a bit, possibly the country. One of the major reasons this decision may not be as bad for Terps fans as it could be is Maryland’s incoming, and highly rated recruiting class.

This class includes two young promising guards in Sam Cassell Jr., and Seth Allen.

Just last week Cassell Jr., who is the son of former NBA guard Sam Cassell, who is now an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards, signed his national letter of intent. He played this past season at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass, and chose Maryland over the University of South Florida, Villanova and Florida State.

Cassell says he picked Maryland because ”it’s close to home so all my family and friends can see me play.” The younger Cassell averaged over 16 points a game for Notre Dame Prep this season. He had a 28-point game against Brewster Academy in the national prep tournament and scored 12 points in the Capital Classic all-star game to help the U.S. All-Stars to a 105-93 win.

Allen, who is considered a three star prospect according to Rivals.com, was Turgeon’s first recruit at MD. The 6-foot-2, Central Florida, Clemson, Miami, Mount St. Mary’s, Northeastern, Old Dominion, VCU and Virginia also recruited 195-pound guard.

Allen represents a positive change in direction for the Terps program. He is the type of recruit that Maryland has not signed over the past few seasons. Teams like VCU and Old Dominion have become major players in the NCAA Tournament as mid major schools by signing recruits exactly the Fredericksburg (Va.) Christian point guard. He battled nagging injuries last summer and thought he was going to miss most of senior season with a broken hand. However, Allen missed just 13-games, but returned just before the Eagles embarked on their postseason run, which ended with a loss in the Virginia Independent Schools Division II semifinals. Allen finished his two seasons at FCS as a 1,000-point scorer, and averaged 20 points, five assists, and four rebounds during his senior season.

The Terps will miss Stoglin but this is not the end of the world. What Maryland did not need was another season of the Stoglin-Turgeon drama. While it is true that Stoglin accounted for 31.5% of Maryland’s scoring last season, and when you combine the departing Sean Mosley’s numbers, Maryland’s second leading scorer, the Terps lost just over 46% of their scoring offense from last season.

With a promising recruiting class, the Terps will bounce back from this setback, and could do so quicker than expected. Aside from the two young guards, Maryland has a strong frontcourt heading to College Park. They have three– Rivals.com– 4-Star recruits, that should make an immediate impact for Turgeon. There is 6-8, 200-pound power forward Jake Layman (King Phillip/Wrentham, MA),  as well as 6-9 285 pound Center Shaquille Cleare (Houston Texas). Also joining them will be 6-8 250 pound power forward Charles Mitchell(Marietta Georgia).

This young class has a lot of offense to make up, but it will become “In Nick We Trust” at Comcast Center next season. Baltimore’s Nick Faust, who came on very strong at the end of last season, will improve and take over this team. Instead of watching the Stoglin and Faust shooting carnival next year, Terps fans could very well be watching a team that focuses their offense on pounding the ball inside and then trying to open lanes for players like Faust and Jake Layman to slash to the basket.

This became a bigger reality with Stoglin’s departure, but an even bigger possibility with point guard Pe’Shon Howard (6.5 Pts, 3.7 Reb, 3.7 Ast) battling injuries, and now an arrest. According to the Washington Post, Howard, a rising junior from Los Angeles, was arrested early Sunday morning outside a College Park restaurant and cited for disorderly conduct, according to Captain Marc Limansky, a representative with the University Police.

Sam Cassell jr.

Howard was released after being issued the citation and now awaits a court date. According to Limansky, one of the department’s officers was flagged down outside the Shanghai Café on Baltimore Avenue and went inside to find a fight going on and a group of people holding back a young man, who appeared to be the aggressor.

Howard tore his ACL in February, after returning from a broken foot in October.

Stoglin, who took more than twice as many shots as any of his teammates, was given the Len Bias Award as the most valuable player on the team. The NBA draft is June 28, and based on everything I have read, is considered a second rounder — at best.

Some say this is petty for MD to announce the suspensions after both players announced they were leaving, but I have a feeling there is something more to this story and its possible that the Terps are doing these young a favor. Either way, this isn’t is as bad it seems with the incoming class. The Terps still have a scholarship to offer for the 2012 season and are in the hunt blue-chip guards Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison and Rysheed Jordan, among others.

This is an opportunity for Mark Turgeon to put his stamp on a young and talented team. Today is not the best news day for Terps fans, but it is not the worst. Maryland will not be as good as they would have been if Stoglin was on the floor at College Park, but they will certainly be better in the locker room, and that could make up the difference in the wins and losses this coming year. Mark Turgeon will, and does get the most out of his players. No, he’s not Gary Williams, or even Lefty Driesell, but Turgeon is building a nice program and Maryland has a real chance to be back on top of the ACC sooner than later, and that is something you couldn’t say in Gary Williams last season.

LOOK INSIDE TERPS CURRENT RECRUITS:

C Shaquille Cleare: 6′ 9″ 285 (4 stars on Rivals.com)

Cleare is the prized jewel of this class. A player who some felt was the best 2012 player not selected as a McDonald’s All-American is a huge body who should be able to bang in the post and contribute, if not start, from day one on campus. He will be a beast of a rebounder, and has real post moves with a solid back to basket game. He will need to work on his conditioning and deal with the overall adjustment to the college game, but he should be an immediate difference maker in the post for this team.

SF Jake Layman: 6′ 8″ 200 (4 stars on Rivals.com)

Layman is a lock down defender and a great outside shooter, which at his size gives the Terps tremendous flexibility with their lineups. With Stoglin and Parker gone, it is possible for him to earn a starting role.

PF Charles Mitchell 6′ 8″ 250 (4 stars on Rivals.com)

Mitchell is a little more rough around the edges than Cleare, but still has great upside. He should be able to contribute some this coming year, though I can’t quite get a good feel for how much. What Mitchell definitely should be is a fantastic four-year player for the Terps who provides good rebounding and a dependable offensive game in the paint.

PG/SG Seth Allen 6′ 2″ 180 (3 stars on Rivals.com)

Allen was Turgeon’s first commit at UMD, announcing just days after Turgeon was hired at the school. He was a bit of a dark horse at the time, though he has gotten more attention post-commitment. He spent most of the winter injured, but was able to come back at the end of the season and showcase some more of his skills. A SG in high school, it sounds like the staff will try and teach Allen to play PG to either back-up Pe’Shon Howard, or replace him if he is unable to recover from his ACL injury, and now, his arrest. 

C Damonte Dodd 6′ 9″ 230 (3 stars on Rivals.com)

Dodd is an absolute mystery. He was practically unknown when he committed to UMD (I’m pretty sure the 3 stars Rivals given is solely based on the fact that he got a scholarship offer from an ACC school), and will almost certainly redshirt his first year. He is a guy who really blossomed during his senior year of high school, despite playing against almost non-existent competition on Maryland’s eastern shore. However, the staff seems to think he has a tremendously high ceiling, and will try to get him to bulk up and adjust to the new competition level during his red-shirt year. Dodd is certainly a project, but it seems to me like the staff wants to give him 2-3 years to see if he can put all the pieces together in College Park, or else he will move on to a smaller stage.

Sam Cassell Jr. 

The younger Cassell is starting to assert himself more on the offensive end shooting the ball off a jab and taking advantage of his 6’2, lengthy frame to post up smaller guards like his dad did for so long. He has the length to be a nice defender and guard. Cassell, who played this season at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., is the fifth player to sign a NLI with Maryland during the 2011-12 recruiting season. He is listed as a three-star recruit by ESPN.com and Scout.com, with Rivals.com ranking him as the 34th-best shooting guard in the nation.

**PF Evan Smotrycz 6′ 9″ 235 (Transfer from Michigan — Eligible 2013)

Okay so Smotrycz isn’t really part of the 2012 recruiting class since he will have to sit out this year and won’t be able to play until the 2013/14 season, but he did commit recently, and is a very underrated pick-up for the Terps. When he is able to play, he will still have two more years of eligibility, and will provide some leadership on a team that will certainly be very young. Smotrycz is really a stretch 4; not a banger inside, but he can rebound and defense some. More importantly, he is a great outsider shooter who can draw defenders away from the Terps other big man Cleare, Len, Mitchell, etc. Smotrycz adds another degree of flexibility to a suddenly incredibly diverse roster, and should be a great addition to the team. If nothing else, Smotrycz shot 43% from downtown at Michigan this season, and you can always make room on your roster for 6′ 9″ who can drain the 3. He is one more piece of the Turgeon plan, which has always seemed to be ready to truly compete in the 2013/14 season.

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About Alan Zlotorzynski

I am a 42-year-old amateur sports talk show host, and sports writer. I am from Baltimore, MD, and my first love is all things "Balwmer". The Ravens, Orioles, Terps, and Washington Capitals are the teams I love. Living in Melbourne Florida now, I follow the Florida Gators, and casually watch the other two Florida NHL teams. I love sports history, especially the NFL and NHL from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. I miss the Baltimore Colts, and the Baltimore Orioles. I hate everything Pittsburgh sports and will always cheer for whoever is playing the “Stillers”, Penguins, and Pirates. However, I do have much respect for the way those teams (except for the Pirates, they suck as bas the O’s) compete. I love the underdog, and 2-to-1 pitching duels. 10-7 mistake free defensive football games are great to watch and I like old time hockey. I believe Europeans are ruining the NHL. And Peter Angelos is a dick. I don't like the NBA, but I will watch the playoffs. I love college basketball. And believe March Madness is the best sports championship of the year followed by the Super Bowl. Nothing and I mean nothing beats a Game No.7 of any NHL playoff series. My favorite all time athletes are Johnny Unitas, Ray Lewis, Cal Ripken Jr., Wayne Gretzky, and Dale Earnhardt Sr. ( Junior sucks). For those of you that still call No.52 a murderer, you’re an asshole. Speaking of No.52, I don’t like Mike Green of the Washington Capitals because I don’t like crybaby sissies, who get hurt all of the time. I don’t like people who chronically complain about shit and do nothing to fix it. I love sports movies, and feel the top three all-time are *61, Field of Dreams, and Slap Shot. I love my hometown teams, but am also a realist. While I hate Duke Basketball, I feel Coach"K" is the greatest coach in any sport of my generation. Bill Belichick is a distant second. I don't like the Indianapolis Colts, but love Peyton Manning; I cannot stand the New York Yankees, but love Derek Jeter. I love my beautiful wife very much, whom I will be married to for three years this June. Gina is the greatest woman God has ever placed on this earth, and I now know she was my high school sweetheart all along. Without her my life would be shit. With her, I’m on top of the world. I have four great kids, and my oldest will always be Daddy’s Little Girl. Lauren I love you, and I will always be there for you. Izzi, Sarah, and Marco---Daddy Mr. Alan will never let you down either. I’d like to thank my father for his undying support, he is the greatest. I’m blessed to have a great step mother. Thanks Ome for being so good to me and my family. I want to tell my brother Brian, and sister Treena that I love them very much, and their families. Mom would be so proud. Speaking of mom, I miss her very much and know that she is watching from above. She is a big reason I’ve made it this far in life, and while I haven’t hit the big time yet, I know I will because of how she raised me. By the way, when I do make it, all of you are coming along for the ride. Thanks for your support, and if there is something you would like to read or hear just drop me a line at zbestsports1@gmail.com. Please be sure to log in and listen on Blog talk radio on MONDAY-WEDNESDAY-FRIDAY @ 6:30 to hear Z-Best R-rated Sports Talk.
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