Maryland's accelerated rebuilding process under coach Mark Turgeon has encountered an unexpected obstacle.
Sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin, the ACC's leading scorer last year, has been suspended for the 2012-13 season due to a violation of the school's student-athlete code of conduct. Instead of serving that penalty at Maryland or transferring to another school, Stoglin will enter the NBA draft.
Maryland officials did not specify what rules Stoglin broke, but the severity of the penalty suggests he is a repeat offender. The school also suspended Mychal Parker for a year as a result of a rules violation, but the swingman already had announced he will transfer.
"Being a University of Maryland student-athlete carries a tremendous honor and responsibility," 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."
Stoglin's decision to enter the draft is a risky one because he's projected as no more than a borderline second-round pick.
The 6-foot guard scored 21.6 points per game on a talent-starved Terps team last season, but he's undersized to play shooting guard in the NBA and he has yet to show the ability to distribute as a point guard. Furthermore, the red flags raised by this year-long penalty will also undermine his chances of a team offering him a contract.
For Maryland, the impact of Stoglin's hasty exit is a drastic reduction in expectations for next season. Whereas a top-four ACC finish and an NCAA tournament berth appeared to be realistic goals with Stoglin in the lineup, second-year coach Mark Turgeon may have to endure one more rebuilding year before that becomes possible.
Any chance Maryland has at the NCAA tournament will require a breakout season from sophomore-to-be Nick Faust, who showed promise late in his freshman year but now will have to be the Terps' go-to perimeter option. A six-man incoming freshman class highlighted by center Shaquille Cleare and wings Jake Layman and Sam Cassell Jr. will have to make an immediate impact as well.
The longterm health of Maryland's program remains promising with Turgeon recruiting at a higher level than Gary Williams did late in his tenure. Regardless, Maryland fans may have to be patient one more year before enjoying the fruits of that recruiting success.