Stoglin, Parker leaving stunts Maryland's growth

Mar 9, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Maryland Terrapins guard Terrell Stoglin (12) and Ashton Pankey (30) react on the bench in the final minutes of the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the quarter-finals of the 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament at Philips Arena. North Carolina defeated Maryland 85-69. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

If you can't play with 'em, leave.

That's what now former Maryland Terrapins Terrell Stoglin and Mychal Parker did yesterday, leaving in their wake a number of questions as to the direction of a program that initially had a lot of upside heading into next season.

Stoglin, whose off-court issues and on-court behavior has been well documented, decided to leave College Park for good instead of deal with a one-year drug related suspension. The ACC's leading scorer from last season could have had a memorable junior season. Instead, with limited options, Stoglin quit the college game and has decided to go pro.

Parker, also facing a university-imposed suspension, will now transfer to another school willing to give the "light-hitting" sophomore who was a top 100 recruit for Gary Williams another shot.

Given 24 hours to digest the news, SB Nation's Testudo Times put it best: we move from "Well, that sucks," to "Okay, now what?"

Stoglin, in his defense didn't have much of a choice but to enter his name into the NBA Draft. And just because he's entered his name doesn't mean he's planning on playing basketball in the United States next season. Europe is a much more realistic destination for the guard. He's simply not talented enough to make an NBA roster right now and brings plenty of baggage with him to keep general managers and scouts at a safe distance.

In short, we may never hear from Stoglin again.

Given the likelihood of a thin ACC next season coupled with key returning players for the Terrapins, Maryland was already generating buzz in college basketball circles as a team to watch next season. With Stoglin leaving and Parker transferring, the program loses a go-to guy and potential important role player to help developing players Nick Faust and Alex Len, and must find a way for a handful of promising but unproven youngsters to pick up the scoring slack.

I've always been firm on the idea that college basketball is better when Maryland is a top team. After getting just a few off-season weeks to marinate on their chances for next season, it could unfortunately be another season of mediocrity at the Comcast Center.

Just like that, the high hopes are dashed.

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