Perhaps no program in the country more desperately needed help at the guard position this spring than the Maryland Terrapins. It wasn't always this way. Just a month ago, the Terps were all set at the guard spot, what with ACC leading scorer Terrell Stoglin likely coming back for his junior season at the school.
Things have long since deteriorated. Stoglin was set to be suspended for an entire year for breaching the Maryland athletics code of conduct, so he put his name in the NBA draft instead -- probably the only move worth making, given the crucial lost year on the court.
So Maryland coach Mark Turgeon found himself with an All-ACC-sized hole in his backcourt, and he needed help filling it. Enter Albany transfer Logan Aronhalt. Aronhalt announced his intentions Saturday to relocate to College Park, a decision spurred on by a handful of factors: Aronhalt's desire to enroll in Maryland's renowned graduate kinesiology program (Aronhalt is a summa cum laude Albany grad with a 3.78 GPA), his proximity to family in the D.C. area and his team's trip to Maryland last season, when Aronhalt got to experience the feel of a game in the Comcast Center in late December. From the Baltimore Sun:
“It was a fun game to play in,” Aronhalt said. “It was definitely one of those experiences that gave me goose bumps, playing in front of so many people in a nice arena against a program with such a rich tradition.” [...] “I think Coach [Mark] Turgeon was excited. I’m definitely excited, too,” said Aronhalt, who will be eligible to play immediately. “It was just an experience that I’ll never forget, just playing there once. To have the opportunity to play there every home game was something I couldn’t say no to.”
Of course Turgeon was excited. Aronhalt may not be a game-changer for the Terps in 2012, but he is a veteran guard with three years of Division I experience. With Stoglin gone and injured point guard Pe'Shon Howard recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in February, Aronhalt will probably start alongside Howard and guard Nick Faust, depending on the kind of lineup Turgeon prefers. The biggest question is whether Aronhalt has the athleticism to compete against ACC guards; chronic knee pain kept him out of the lineup for the latter portion of last season.
Even so, Turgeon desperately needed a backcourt body. He got one, and a capable one at that. So maybe the post-Stoglin era doesn't have to be quite so dire after all. Plus, the name "Logan Aronhalt" sounds a lot like a fringe character from "Game of Thrones." If that's not a good sign I don't know what is.