The Story of Maryland's Terrell Stoglin
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A talented youngster contributes right away as a freshman, making his conference’s All-Freshman team. He comes back the next season and, as a sophomore, leads the conference in scoring, becoming one of the more feared players around. Plans were made for an even more impressive junior campaign, piggy backing on the tremendous start to his college career. Instead, a one year suspension is levied against him for violating team rules and failing to comply with the university’s conduct and drug policies. Rather than sit out, he leaves, departs for the professional ranks, and enters himself in the NBA draft. Not quite ready in the mind of the pros, he goes undrafted and is forced to fend for himself in the world of undrafted free agents while his college team is left picking up the pieces of a lost offensive cog.
The story of Terrell Stoglin at the University of Maryland is not new; that makes it no less cringe-inducing.
When a young player shows such promise and ability, even people who are not Terrapins fans root for him to succeed: to reach the upper echelon of college basketball. Besides your team winning a title, there is nothing more exciting than watching a player excel to such a degree he seems unstoppable. Stoglin was on that path. As a freshman, he was scary with the basketball. As a sophomore, he was terrifying. Who knows how good he would have become?
Alas, rules violations and displaying conduct detrimental to the team are actions that schools will not put up with no matter the talent level of the guilty. This, from a moral standpoint, is a good thing. From a basketball standpoint, it is disappointing, especially for Maryland fans and alums.
The returning Terrapins are inexperienced, to say the least. Nick Faust will attempt to fill the shoes and stat sheet of the departing Stoglin. Center Alex Len will also become a much bigger focus of the offense. Both men are talented; neither seems yet to have that unlimited ceiling that Stoglin displayed. This is not a new tale; the characters have simply changed.