Baltimore Sun reporters Jeff Barker and Don Markus and editor Matt Bracken weigh in on the three biggest topics of the past week in
Maryland announced this week that power forward Ashton Pankey will transfer to a school closer to his New York City home. Should we be surprised about this news, and is it a significant loss?
Jeff Barker: I think you've got to study the clues we got about Pankey.
But look what happened after that. Pankey had an uneven season, averaging 4.7 points and 4.9 rebounds. He reached double figures in rebounds three times.
I can’t help but remember the
Pankey's role shrank for awhile after Alex Len arrived. Pankey had some difficult games after that -- such as one rebound and no points in 16 minutes againstN.C. Statein January.
He had his moments -- he can be a strong inside presence -- but he could also disappear in games and be absolutely maddening to his coach.
Given all that -- and the fact that Maryland has some frontcourt talent coming in, and that Pankey wanted to be nearer his family in New York City -- it's not so surprising that he has left the building.
Don Markus: I think there are two reasons why Turgeon hasn't taken the same kind of heat.
The first is that Turgeon's honeymoon phase in College Park is ongoing since the Terps were fairly competitive last season, while Edsall was being criticized after the fourth game of the season when Temple came into Byrd Stadium and blasted Maryland en route to its 2-10 disaster.
Even more important is the fact that Turgeon didn't run off Terrell Stoglin and Mychal Parker -- they essentially ran themselves off by flunking multiple drug tests.
In Pankey's case, Turgeon appears to be trying to help him avoid having to sit out a year and lose a full season of eligibility since he already redshirted. Turgeon was quick to say that Pankey was leaving to play closer to home and be there for his ailing mother, rather than say the 6-9 forward was no longer in the team's plans. That should help Pankey's case for a waiver from the
You also don't see Turgeon making statements about whether his players are "all in" like Edsall said about
The members of Maryland's 2010 basketball recruiting class were Terrell Stoglin, Mychal Parker, Ashton Pankey, Berend Weijs, Haukur Palsson and Pe'Shon Howard. Stoglin (declared for
Matt Bracken: We'll exclude Weijs from this discussion because he was a late JUCO recruit that pretty much did what was expected of him -- provide depth, block a few shots, be a good practice player and graduate -- over the past two seasons. But it's probably safe to say that nobody would have guessed two years ago that just one of those 5 freshmen would remain in College Park come junior year.
It's hard to completely knock the Terps' 2010 coaching staff for this class. Stoglin was an off-the-radar, three-star prospect from Arizona who had just a handful of other high-major offers. Certainly his suspension/departure was a disappointment, but credit Rob Ehsan for identifying the
Maryland was far from the only program that missed the boat on Parker. ESPN.com's No. 45 prospect nationally in the 2010 class had serious interest from Kentucky and offers from N.C. State,
Howard's the survivor of this group, and it's easy to see why. Suiting up for Maryland -- and playing in the ACC -- was always something of a dream for the Oak Hill product. He's a hard worker and a natural leader. He's got a ton to prove as a junior, but he seems to have been rated appropriately.