The Saga of Steve Goins, Maryland's Mystery Man

via cdn1.sbnation.com

That there's a commenter here named "Steve Goins" who jokes about his namesake's sklils regularly should tell you all you need to know about Maryland's most famous incognito big man. Goins, a well-known but little seen member of Maryland's front line, however, may sadly - or indifferently - be on his way out of College Park.

The 2008 recruiting class is something of an infamous one for Maryland; Gus Gilchrist, Terrence Jennings, Bobby Maze, Jin Soo Choi (nee Kim) and Ken Bowman all came through the door at Maryland at one point or another during that recruiting cycle, and all would eventually leave, most before ever arriving on campus. Desperate to quickly pick up the pieces, Maryland signed a Chicago big man late in June. That big man, described as a possible diamond in the rough or late bloomer with offers from mid-majors Chicago State and Illinois-Chicago, was Steve Goins.

Fans didn't quite know how to react to or what to expect from Goins when he arrived on campus. Largely a question mark, Goins received extraordinarily little playing time his freshman year, averaging just 3.0 minutes per game in 4 games, all of which were blowouts on either side. His lack of playing time was surprising: Goins stands at 6-9, while his big man "competitors" his freshman year consisted of 6-5 Dave Neal and 6-7 Landon Milbourne. Yet despite Maryland's huge need for size, Goins rarely saw the floor.

With that awful year out of the way, Goins seemed to decide that Maryland just wasn't the place for him, and made plans to transfer...until he changed his mind and stayed at Maryland. His decision to stay was bittersweet: while he provided size, he didn't seem to have a lot of promise.

Perhaps the rough first year should've tipped fans off to not expect much more his sophomore season - after all, if he couldn't beat out Dave Neal, what would he do against Jordan Williams? - but rarely do we take notice: reports of increased strength excited some of us. I myself thought he could receive as much as 4 minutes a game. Oh, how far off we were.

Goins fell victim to a knee injury early in the year, often returning to Chicago to have it checked out. That stunted his development and didn't allow him to get garbage playing time against some of the worse teams early in the season. He received a grand total of four minutes in two games at the Maui Invitational, and then fell off the face of the earth.

It wasn't uncommon to see speculation that he would transfer for real this time, or maybe even be forced out. At some point, that speculation transformed into fact, and his potential transfer is one of the worst-kept secrets in College Park. Jeff Goodman of FOXSports, one of the better CBB columnists on the internet, even officially lists Goins on his huge transfer list. While that doesn't make it official - after all, it was actually really announced last time before it was reversed - Goodman rarely posts incorrect information. Perhaps this is the first indication that the Steve Goins era has truly come to an end in College Park.

I wish I could end this post with something deep and profound, but it's difficult to do with a saga along the lines of Goins'. Sometimes, there's nothing deep or profound to say: it was a bit of a fun ride, sure, and we got some nice jokes out of it, but Goins' career will be more remembered for his lack of prominence than any notable achievements. Still, if Goodman is correct - and I have no reason to believe he isn't - best of luck to Goins, wherever he may end up.

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