As the college basketball nation prepares to crown another champion, I cannot help but reflect on the progress Maryland basketball made this season. Terrapins coach Mark Turgeon now has two seasons under his belt in College Park and has a roster made up entirely of his own players. Moving from the familiar ACC to the Big 10 will certainly be a challenge and also a time for new rivalries to be born. While the loss to Iowa in the NIT FInal-Four was a disappointment, it was a nice peek into the Terps Big 10 future.
There is breaking news from the program today as point guard Pe'Shon Howard is transferring. The rising senior is likely to transfer to a school in California to be closer to a member of the family who is ill.
“It was a very difficult decision because I really enjoyed my three years as a student-athlete at Maryland, but my grandmother is sick and I feel it is best that I be closer to my family.”
Howard is the last link on the court to the Gary Williams era and had struggled recovering from serious injuries. Howard's departure means the Terps may have as many as two new starters next season.
Pe'Shon Howard PG- Probably would have remained a starter for his senior season. With his departure, none of "Gary's" players remain on the squad. Expected to spend his final season of eligibility on the West Coast.
James Padgett PF- Arrived with Jordan Williams as the future post players for the Terps. Padgett never really fit in with Turgeon's system. James went from a starter to an afterthought as the season progressed. In the final moments of the last home game (during NIT) Padgett reportedly declined participation.
Logan Aronhalt SG- Long range shooter supreme transferred in for his final year of eligibility and filled his role well. Unfortunately for Logan, he will be best remembered for rushing his potential game winning shot against UNC in the ACC tournament.
Alex Len C- Len made remarkable progress from his freshman to sophomore seasons. Learning the English language was a big help and Alex also got much stronger. Some project Len as high as a lottery pick, other have him further down in the first round. Many fans felt Alex "mailed it in" down the stretch once it became clear he was NBA bound. If Len decides to return, the Terps would have to be considered a pre-season Top-25 squad, but he is all but gone.
Roddy Peters PG- Peters is one of the top high school point guards in the nation and should battle rising sophomore Seth Allen for starting point guard duties. At the very least, Peters will be the top backup PG and get plenty of minutes.
Damonte Dodd C- Dodd was the "sleeper" of the 2012 recruiting class. Dominating a small school classification, Dodd opted to spend this season getting more experience at a prep school. Basically, Len's replacement on the roster.
Evan Smotrycz F- Do you think Smotrycz is having second thoughts about transferring to Maryland? After all, he came from the University of Michigan! Smotrycz is the perfect definition of a "stretch four". A big man with three point range.
Shaquille Cleare C- Cleare was a top-10 center in high school and is a wide body with loads of potential.
Charles Mitchell F/C- Mitchell is another bruiser in the paint and made great contributions as a freshman.
Jake Layman F/G- An exciting, high flying wing, Layman can take it to the rim and is a streaky three point shooter.
Dez Wells G/F- A huge late addition transferring from Xavier, Wells should be a team leader over the next two seasons.
Nick Faust G/F- The athletic Faust spent much of his first season at point guard, but has settled in as the Terps two guard.
Seth Allen G- Underrated recruit is a solid combo guard. Can play the point, but may actually be better suited as a two.
The Terps currently have nine players on scholarship for 2013-'14, with room for four more. Turgeon isn't likely to rush to fill those spots as he has had success adding players late like Len and Wells in each of his first two seasons. Maryland does already had a verbal commitment for the 2014 class in point guard Romelo Trimble. A consensus four star playing at Bishop O'Connell in Arlington, Trimble has been rumored to possibly be graduating early and joining Maryland at some point next season. We'll keep you posted on that one.