Martin Breunig, (Maybe) Sterling Gibbs Ask out of LOIs, Leave Maryland Shorthanded

Mark Turgeon mentioned Maryland's current commitments in his introductory press conference earlier today, stating that "the plan is to keep them all intact." Looks like that plan has hit some bumps in the road. After news leaked that Sterling Gibbs asked out of his LOI earlier today, another of Maryland's commitments, 6-9 F Martin Breunig, has also asked for his release from the university.

That leaves Maryland's most prized recruit, 6-6 swingman Nick Faust, as the only remaining commitment in a 2011 class that had four open scholarship spots (for you math whizzes, that's four left). If both Breunig and Gibbs leave and no one fills their spots, Maryland will only have nine scholarships filled next season, out of a possible 13. Among those nine, six are natural guards or wings. Of the other three, one hasn't played competitive basketball in two years. And another is a JuCo who saw minimal playing time last season.

This isn't at Indiana-with-Tom-Crean levels, but short-handed might be an understatement.

Actually, there's some confusion regarding the Gibbs situation. His AAU coach has said that Gibbs has asked out of his commitment, but Joe Davis of ScoutsFocus says that Gibbs' father says they haven't. Matt Bracken didn't touch on it in a piece he did with Gibbs earlier, in which Sterling was very positive about the hire It's quite possible that he plans to ask out of his commitment but wants to wait until he talks to Turgeon, or something along those lines. It's a fuzzy situation.

Frankly, Gibbs' commitment is one Maryland can afford to lose. It hurts, don't get me wrong, but between Terrell Stoglin and Pe'Shon Howard, the Terps already have two ACC-level point guards (well, we think). Breunig's hurts more, as the German combo forward provided some seriously needed size. Without Jordan Williams, Maryland had only three players on the roster 6-7 or taller (Breunig would've made it four). He was expected to fill out the 4 spot next year and had a good chance of seeing the floor, even if based only on size.

Breunig may be considering Maryland, and perhaps Turgeon could talk him back into a commitment. But right now, there's little known about his situation. You could speculate (emphasis on speculate) that Breunig and Gibbs had the least contact with Bino Ranson and the most with Rob Ehsan and Keith Booth, and their decommitments may be a slight indication as to those two's futures with the program.

This puts Maryland in a bind, assuming both actually leave. They're going to be seriously short-handed next year, especially inside. If they can land any more players, particularly big players, in the 2011 class, it'd be a good idea to start now. They may want to go after 7-0 C Marek Soucek, from the Czech Republic, or perhaps try to poach a TAMU commitment of Turgeon's. They definitely need the help.

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