Whether it's the NBA or a one-year suspension, the end result is the same: Maryland has lost guard Terrell Stoglin for the 2012-13 season, and that's a huge blow to its chances of reaching the NCAA tournament in coach Mark Turgeon's second season.
Wait ... Stoglin is leaving Maryland? Huh?
That's the reaction I had to Andy Katz's story Monday afternoon. To wit:
Terrell Stoglin of Maryland declared for the NBA draft by Sunday's deadline. But he wouldn't have been able to return to the Terps next season in any event. The school announced Monday that Stoglin, the ACC's leading scorer last season, was suspended for the year for violating the school's athlete code of conduct. [...]
"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.''
Yes, you read that right. Stoglin, along with would-be junior guard Mychal Parker, would have been suspended for an entire year thanks to some unnamed violation of the school's rules. Whatever that act was, it was apparently very serious. As such, Stoglin did the math, deciding he might as well enter the NBA draft now. It's hard to blame him for reaching that conclusion. Waiting out the suspension would have pushed his NBA clock not just one season but two, as Stoglin wouldn't have been on the floor to try to improve his draft stock in 2012-13 anyway. Indeed, despite a relatively nonexistent draft status (at least at this late point in the process), the only reasonable thing to do was wave goodbye and turn pro. C'est la vie.
Whatever the causes for Stoglin's departure, it leaves Maryland at a significant disadvantage in 2012-13. This is not exactly rocket science. Stoglin, who scored 21.6 points per game as a sophomore, was the ACC's leading scorer in 2012 for good reason. He was a high-volume offensive player -- he ranked No. 3 in the country in shot rate -- but he was also efficient, posting an offensive rating of 110.4, the 14th-highest efficiency mark among players with a usage rate higher than 28 percent, per KenPom.com. With him back in 2012, alongside center Alex Len, sophomore guard Nick Faust and incoming ESPNU top 100 recruits Shaquille Cleare and Jake Layman, the Terps had the personnel to eclipse last season's so-so finish and make a serious, even expected, run at the NCAA tournament.
Now the Terps will have to hope guard Pe'Shon Howard -- who also, believe it or not, found himself in legal trouble this past weekend -- is a) healthy and b) ready to take on a much larger role not only as a distributor but as a scorer, too.
Maryland isn't suddenly headed for the cellar, but there's no question this team will be worse off without its suspended and now departed star player. Turgeon is well on his way toward building the fearsome Maryland program many touted when he took the job and hired an assistant staff full of recruiting stalwarts like assistant coach Dalonte Hill. But that process may be delayed by a year, or even longer, because of the latest strange and unlikely turn in Stoglin's now-finished Terps career.