Are we setting ourselves up for disappointment? Should we be tempering our expectations?
Some seem to believe when Shaq comes to town we'll instantly be a force to be reckoned with on the national stage, and I hope we are. We all have high hopes for the Terps' basketball program, and there is cause for optimism, but that's simply not going to happen overnight - or from one season to the next. It's a process.
By all accounts, Nick Faust has the potential to be a bonafide star. Terrell Stoglin proved he can be a solid producer in the backcourt. Ashton Pankey has shown promise as a rebounder/shot blocker. Pe'Shon Howard played well in stretches last season at the point. Alex Len's height could be a huge force in the paint. Mychal Parker, at this point is an enigma, and James Padgett is an improving work in progress.
Next season, we have a physical beast in Shaquille Cleare coming to CP. With his length, Jake Layman could be a match-up nightmare for Terps' opponents at the wing. And Seth Allen, we expect, is highly underrated as a point guard.
2012, indeed, appears promising. But keep in mind, Faust, Pankey and Len will be in just their second season (to a certain extent, Parker can be added to that list). Stoglin and Howard will be juniors, and Cleare, Layman and Allen, just freshmen. Getting Maryland into the national conversation on a consistent basis is going to take time. Is it possible we'll find ourselves in the Top 25 sometime during the 2012-2013 season? Sure. Is it likely? Probably not. With a solid 2013 recruiting class, our chances improve; and 2014 could be amazing. I see it taking that long before we're a legitimate final four threat.
For Maryland to compete with the 5-star-loaded Kentuckys, Dukes, Arizonas and North Carolinas of the world, we need to focus on our team being greater than the sum of our parts. That takes time. It's fine to have high hopes, and we all want instant success. But is that realistic?
Talk me down on this...somebody, anybody...tell me I'm wrong...please!!