I love this blog - particularly Ben's commentary which is insightful and thorough. For a Terp-junkie like me, there's not much better on the internet. But I have to say, I thought that the first player profiled in the Season Review series should have been Stogs. The poor guy is just not getting the love he deserves.
Stoglin is the first ACC underclassman (fresh or soph) to average over 20 pts per game in a decade. Take a minute to think about the number of amazing players that have come through the ACC in the last decade and let that accomplishment sink in.
It's true, he took more shots than anyone else in the ACC this year, and his shooting percentage was not particularly high, but the kid is a sophomore for crying out loud. What do you expect? Not only that, he's a sophomore playing for a new coach, in a new system that is very different from the one he learned as a freshman, and on a team with no true point guard, surrounded by mid-tier talent. So, yeah he took too many shots. But does anyone really think we'd have been better if he didn't? And does anyone really think that won't improve next year?
Some of his scoring plays this year were simply draw-jopping, eye-popping good. A couple of those spin moves he flashed were unreal. The guy is blessed with as much talent and skill as we've seen around college park in a while. Stogs is better as a sophomore than the General was. Stogs is better as a sophomore than Juan was (I had to make the sign of the cross after I wrote that - sorry Juan).
Stogs is considering whether he should turn pro or come back for another year. How is it possible that this entire community is not begging him to come back every day?
I understand the focus on recruitment. I also am excited about next year's incoming class. But, folks, they will all be freshman. None of them are going to be great next year. Only a small handful of kids in the entire country ever turn into stars in their freshman year. There's never more than 1 or 2 Anthony Davises (is that that right way to make that name plural?) or Jared Sullingers in the nation each year. Everyone else struggles to adjust. Even Harrison Barnes, the consensus #1 recruit in the country, struggled mightily his freshman year.
The point is, the Terps are never going to become a great team because of the contribution they get from their freshmen. It will only happen if players like Stogs stay in school and develop their skills and their decision-making. Next year with Stogs, we will be an exciting team with a high ceiling. We could be border-line top 25. Without Stogs? We're rebuilding again without a go-to player.
Terrapin nation should be united - flooding the twitter-verse with pleas for the kid to return and lead this program back to glory!!! Let's go guys! Where is the LOVE??