College Basketball Nation: Haukur Palsson

Mark Turgeon's first year gets more difficult

August, 2, 2011
8/02/11
1:49
PM ET
Another sign that Maryland is in for a difficult rebuilding season under first-year coach Mark Turgeon is that unexpected news of a freshman turning pro after averaging 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds is a big gut punch to the program.

Haukur Palsson has decided to leave school to pursue a professional career in Europe, and the departure of the 6-foot-6 forward from Iceland leaves the Terrapins with only eight scholarship players who collectively are an inexperienced bunch.

Turgeon's reaction in the Washington Post does not exactly give off the sense that he's confident about the coming season.
"I'm not saying we're going to lose next year, because we're going to try to win every game," Turgeon said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "I don't know what lies ahead. I don't know how good our players are."

Asked if he viewed the task ahead as a complete overhaul of the Terps, Turgeon said: "I don't think it is. We have some good guards in the program. We just don't have the depth we need."

Before Palsson's decision was announced, Turgeon told Andy Katz he expected to consistently use four-guard sets. Palsson had been one of four players on the roster who had started at least once for Maryland, and the three remaining are guards Terrell Stoglin, Sean Mosley and Pe'Shon Howard.

Turgeon wasn't able to retain a good chunk of the recruiting class Gary Williams had put together, so what is left is a thin roster he'll have to wait until next year to build upon. For now, Palsson's professional aspirations have put Turgeon at an even grater disadvantage -- at least in the short-term.

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