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And just like that, as unceremoniously as he came in, Terrell Stoglin’s tenure as a Maryland Terrapin is over. The last carry over from the Gary Williams era punched his ticket for the NBA draft on Monday under the guise of leaving because of his talent. It would be utterly dishonest to claim that Stoglin had a “change of heart” from his previous statements, because the reality is that he was released from the team.
To be more specific, he was released from the team for repeatedly violating the Maryland Athletic Code of Conduct. That’s the politically correct way of saying that Stoglin was (likely) smoking the ganja a few too many times. So as not to encourage conspiracy theories, I’ll just say that it is beyond me how any college athlete can manage to fail these drug tests once, let alone three times! They’re unofficially informed of these things days beforehand, and to be dense enough as to fail one speaks, to me, about your commitment in certain facets of life. No, I’m not trying to discredit Terrel’s overall body of work during his tenure at Maryland. He was a fantastic basketball player who led the ACC in scoring last year. He was a baller in the truest sense of the word, and a person who could score on any team he played against. That being said, now that Stoglin is gone we can look at what he wasn’t for the team, not what he was.
A definite argument could be made that Mr.
Stogie Stoglin did equally as much harm on the court as he did good. I cite the example that a much smarter friend of mine posed to me shortly after the scandal broke. “There’s a reason why my favorite player, Allen Iverson, never won any championships,” he said. And just like that, it clicked for me, and I moved on. Much like being dumped by a girl, then finding out later that the girl had been cheating on you with the entire football team, I got closure. Terrell Stoglin was, in many ways, a watered-down version of The Answer. Translation: a volume shooter whose style of play hindered the team as much as it helped via keeping other players uninvolved.
One of my favorite examples of the futility in the Stoglin offensive plan occurred on February of this year, when the Terrapins played against ‘The U’. It was a hard fought game that saw the Terps eventually lose in double overtime 90-86 in spite of Terrell’s 33 points. I know, you might be thinking that it’s simply a rarity that the Terps would lose when Stoglin is scoring like that, but anyone watching that game was cringing at what I have to deem as one of the worst performances I had ever seen in college basketball. Stoglin, notorious for falling in love with the three-pointer, took a career high 20 of them this game. No, he wasn’t “feeling it” or “in the zone,” Stoglin just wanted to shoot three pointers that game because he felt like it. Stoglin only made 3 shots that weren’t from deep (and one of them was a long 2), and he only hit 6 of those 20 three’s! It was pathetic.
It was like a high school dance where Stoglin is the kid break dancing on the middle of the floor and Nick Faust, Alex Len, and James Padgett were standing around like wallflowers marveling at Stoglin walk up the court and hoist a shot 5 seconds into the shot clock. Problem is, those moves don’t get girls/win games. They’re just obnoxious and take up too much room on the dance floor where other kids could be cutting rug with Tina Turnbuckle en route to her phone number. That was the problem with Stoglin; he always got his, but he left everyone else out to dry. Despite being the main option on offense, Terrell never finished with more than 4 assists. Understandable, considering he isn’t normally the main ballhandler (Pe’Shon was) and wasn’t used to dishing out assists. That’s fine, if you actually buy that. But looking back to his freshman year when Gary actually kept him on a slightly tighter leash, Stoglin managed to dish out way more assists in less minutes. Stoglin shot a little less, but got the team more involved and as a result helped the Terps win more games. We weren’t blowing anyone away, but at least we weren’t taking 20 three’s in a game (the most he ever shot was 7).
Back to the Miami game for a second. The game went into double overtime, which seems to suggest that Stoglin was the main factor in getting the victory. This is a problem that many fans (myself included) have when they’re watching volume shooters go to work: we get extremely excited about the clutch three to force overtime or the buzzer beater to win the game, but we completely forget about all the other sequences that got us to that in the first place. For every and-one Stoglin draws, he also takes ill advised drives to the bucket and throws up shots that have no chance of going in. Just for the sake of it. Stoglin is a stat guy, in that he loves getting them, but he is never going to win you as many games as an unselfish extremely talented player on an extremely talented team (think Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Kentucky). That’s the reality of many volume shooters, and unless they’re surrounded by gobs of talent, they’re going to win you games and lose you games equally.
So where does Maryland move from here? Once more into the breach. They’ve got a fantastic true point guard in Pe’Shon Howard who, despite recent injuries and arrests, is going to be an absolutely phenomenal fit with this team. Howard is the antithesis of Stoglin, in that he is always looking to get his teammates involved while never calling his number (he’s taken more than 10 shots in a game only 4 times during his two year career). There will most certainly be a void in scoring, but I’m entirely confident that Nick Faust, who scored in double figures nine of his last eleven games, will carry the torch and do it much more effectively than Stoglin ever did. Faust is the future, and his silky smooth game with lots of range, is going to lead Maryland to places Terrell likely never could. Combine that with the Terrapins having more front court depth than almost any team in the NCAA with Alex Len, Shaquille Cleare, Charles Mitchell, and James Padgett. That’s not even mentioning the impact that Sam Cassell Jr., the shooting guard son of NBA All-Star Sam Cassell, is going to have with the team, as well as fellow incoming freshman Seth Allen. The scoring is not something that Terps fans should be worried about, because it’s going to be there. And scoring isn’t the only way to win games. Defensively, the Terps are set up for major success with that kind of size and (presumably) rebounding acumen.
So for Terrell, good luck in your future endeavors. I hope you get drafted, and I hope you have a great and long career in the NBA. But the Turtle will move on, however slowly that may be.
Andy Katz released his super early predictions of his Top 25 teams for 2012-2013 yesterday and not surprisingly, left the Terrapins off the list. He did, however, show Maryland some love by labeling them as an “On the Cusp” team along with 14 others. Among the interesting points in his Top 25:
- Indiana, despite likely losing their best player in T-Rex armed Cody Zeller to the NBA draft, has taken over the #1 spot. It’s a nice change of pace considering analysts love putting Kentucky, UNC, or Duke in that spot all the time.
- Kentucky slides into the top 5 (#4) even after losing 4 of their 5 best players. It goes to show you just how impressive Kentucky is at reloading with more solid freshman after one class departs using the Cal Model (as it will now be known).
- Duke sits at #15 in his list, but that’s severely underrating them in my opinion. Their only crucial loss is Austin Rivers, and he wasn’t even that spectacular there. Look for Duke to be very similar to the team they had last year, with perhaps a bit more depth.
- Missouri is 25, but Maryland is not. Here’s where I can gripe. Missouri lost it’s top 3 scorers, and I don’t think there’s any way they will be as effective as they were last year (where they trashed mine and everyone else’ bracket). On the other hand, the Terps lost Sean Mosley, but kept their scorers in tact and should have two more studs coming in with Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell. The Terrapins are a top 25 team, and while there isn’t enough of a body of evidence now to justify it, Katz should have taken a flyer instead of plugging in a clearly bereft Missouri team.
Either way, the future looks good for Turgeon’s Turtles.
Maryland Recruiting News
Junior 2013 Targets
5-Star PG Andrew Harrison and brother 5-Star SG Aaron Harrison
BeeJay Anya – center – 4-star—medium interest
Shaquille Cleare – 6’9, 285 Center Houston, Texas. 4-star
Charles Mitchell – 6’8, 250 Center Marietta, Georgia. 4-star
Jake Layman – 6’8, 200 SF Wrentham, Mass. 3-star
Seth Allen – 6’2, 180 SG Fredericksburg, VA. 3-star
Mark Turgeon is already shaping up to be a pretty solid recruiter. The new incoming class of freshman has Maryland in good shape to remain competitive and even excel in the ACC for the next few years. Headlined by two big men, Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell, the 2012 class brings the Terrapins some much needed size down low. Cleare and Mitchell represent the #9 and #12 best centers of 2012 according to Rivals.com. Cleare, as some might recall, is notable for posterizing the #1 HS center in the nation Nerlens Noel. He’s a massive presence down low, and the Bahamian should be a boon for the Terrapin. Joining him in the class is Jake Layman, a 3-star swingman whose stock has risen drastically since the summertime. The guy can do it all, and he’s got a fantastic motor by all accounts.
Mitchell, the less heralded but still very talented tweener, is definitely going to bolster the line. His physical build is further ahead in development than what one would expect for an incoming freshman, but he is still a bit smaller than a traditional big man. That being said, a front court featuring Cleare, Len, and Layman could go a long way towards enticing a certain set of twins.
The Harrison twins would be the ultimate coup for the University of Maryland. Andrew is the #1 player in the nation, and Aaron is not far behind at #6. Why should the Terrapins be optimistic about landing the dynamic duo? Because Maryland happens to have a commitment from their best friend Mr. Cleare. Yes, it was a little unfortunate the last time Maryland tried going the friend route toward a 5-star’s heart (James Padgett and Lance Stephenson) but it certainly doesn’t hurt to try. The three have been friends since the eight grade, for what it’s worth. Getting a commitment from the twins would mean Maryland is primed to become one of the top 10 teams in the nation without a doubt.
How good are the Harrison twins? Well, they’re being recruited by the likes of Kentucky, Texas, Georgetown, and Baylor. They’ve got a smooth stroke from the outside, but can also attack the basket with amazing speed. Combine the two with Terrell Stoglin (if he stays) and Pe’Shon Howard, and Maryland would be looking at having one of the best back courts in the nation.
All said, Maryland’s future under Mark Turgeon gives fans a reason to be optimistic while watching these NCAA games play out. It could very well be the Terps in a year or two.