Sports At Large: Are The Terps Marching Towards (Long Term) Success?
It was a pretty good fall and winter in College Park, as University of Maryland teams marked their first seasons in the Big Ten by exceeding expectations in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball.
And it’s shaping up to be a pretty good spring there, too. By the time you hear this, the men’s lacrosse team may have joined the women’s team in winning a national championships.
Coach Cathy Reese’s women’s team won its second straight title – a record 13th overall – with a 9-8 victory over former ACC rival North Carolina Sunday.
That’s on the field. Terp teams appear poised to strike it big in recruiting for the coming year.
Coach Randy Edsall’s football squad recently scored a coup by convincing quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who attended the Bullis School in Potomac, to stay home.
Haskins, who rejected scholarship offers from such notable football schools as Florida, Penn State, Florida State, Texas and Notre Dame, is a four-star recruit.
Haskins’ signing will not only be Maryland’s highest profile quarterback signing in decades, but will also serve as the linchpin of a campaign to keep the best local talent to stay here.
But it’s in men’s basketball where the Terps have made their biggest splash.
We’ve already told you about the signing of Diamond Stone, a center from Milwaukee. Stone is rated by people who know among the top 10 incoming high school players in the country. His presence alone is expected to make a very good Maryland team better.
But Stone isn’t coming to College Park alone. The Terps had already added Robert Carter, Jr., a 6-foot-8 inch forward transfer from Georgia Tech.
Carter, who will have two years of eligibility left after sitting out last season, averaged 11 points and eight rebounds in his sophomore year in Atlanta.
And earlier this month, Coach Mark Turgeon got word that Rasheed Sulaimon, a 6-foot-4 inch guard who was a key reserve on the Duke team that won the national championship, will spend his senior season at Maryland.
The addition of Sulaimon has vaulted Maryland to the top of the list of teams that are favored to win next year’s title, according to some Las Vegas betting houses.
That the team Sulaimon played for is Duke is making the signing feel that much sweeter for Maryland fans, who consider hating the Blue Devils as much a tradition as hard shell crabs and Natty Boh on Memorial Day.
Championship talk is rarified air for Turgeon, who was thought to be on the hot seat at this time last year, with a number of players transferring out of the program. Now, it’s sunshine, lollipops and visions of trophies dancing in our heads.
It bears noting, though, that Sulaimon was dismissed from the Duke team midseason, the first time that has happened under the Mike Krzyzewski watch.
The Duke student newspaper reported a month after his dismissal, that Sulaimon was alleged to have sexually assaulted two different women, charges that Sulaimon has vociferously denied.
There has been little discussion from Turgeon or frankly anyone about how it looks to build a team or a program using someone else’s problem players or players who don’t appear to be destined to stay long.
That kind of talk will be saved for next spring and will surface only if Mark Turgeon and his band of marauding Terps fails to win big.