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Men's Basketball Semi-Assistant Joe Harrington Leaves Terps' Staff

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Tumultuous day for basketball: Adjehi Baru trims his list, Johnny O'Bryant goes...elsewhere, and now pseudo-assistant Joe Harrington is leaving the staff. Per new WaPo MD beat writer Liz Clarke, Harrington is "pursuing other interests" and will no longer hold his role as director of men's basketball student services.

Of course, Harrington was actually an assistant coach, but because you're only allowed to have three assistants, he was given an alternate title. The wily old vet wasn't actually allowed to do any recruiting, but he was regarded as the #2 guy in helping Gary figure out the Xs and Os. His experience and friendship with Williams made that the perfect role, but it did mean he had to take a little less money than usual.

Harrington joined the staff in 2007, when Maryland was at a shortage of experienced assistants. With recruiting-heavy youngun's like Chuck Driesell and Keith Booth having just joined, Maryland needed a legitimate bench coach, and that was Harrington. That he didn't receive a "real" title was an indication that he was really just a stop-gap.

Apparently, that gap has been filled. Whether it's been filled with ultra-young Rob Ehsan, charismatic recruiter Bino Ranson, or "call a timeout to discount Greivis' game winning shot against Georgia Tech" Keith Booth, I don't know, but apparently someone will have a lot more responsibilities this year.

It's worth keeping an eye on to see if Maryland's schemes see any change, however minor it would be. I'm slightly encouraged by this; I'm guessing it means one of the assistants has seen some real progress in the coaching aspect of the job.