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Maryland's Basketball Scholarship Situation, and Discussing the Remainder of the 2010 Class

Hint: This guy (aka, Mychal Parker) occupies one.
Hint: This guy (aka, Mychal Parker) occupies one.

Another commitment means one less scholarship. Because history tells me there's always going to be questions about scholarships - and deservedly so, because it becomes a rather complex situation at times for people that do not religiously follow recruiting - I usually just break it down in a post after a commitment. This one's no different.

13 scholarships are available for basketball. Next year's team, including the current signees, would look like this:

1. 22 Adrian Bowie
2. 25 Steve Goins
3. 33 Dino Gregory
4. 14 Sean Mosley
5. 35 James Padgett
6. 24 Cliff Tucker
7. 20 Jordan Williams
8. 00 Terrell Stoglin
9. 00 Mychal Parker
10. 00 Ashton Pankey
11. 21 Pe'Shon Howard
12. 00 Haukur Palsson

That's 12 total, which means Maryland can offer one more scholarship for the moment. If you're wondering how Maryland can bring in 6 players, only lose three, and still have equilibrium, a few late moves opened up space. Jerome Burney will no longer occupy a scholarship, and Jin Soo Choi's scholarship is now available as well. The third comes from David Pearman, who was given a year-to-year scholarship when Gus Gilchrist ended up at South Florida, which was renewed this year but won't be next year if they decide to use the scholarship.

Saying one more scholarship will be available is a little conservative, because it's very possible that Steve Goins, who has played 4 minutes this year and has struggled with injuries, won't return next year. He was supposedly transferring at the end of last year, but ended up back in College Park. Though it's always a bad idea to speculate, a complete lack of playing time and the possibility that he may never get over his injuries may lead him to vacate a scholarship spot - in that case, there would be two available. Right now, that seems to be probable.

I've deliberated for awhile on the possibility that the Haukur Palsson signing effectively ends the 2010 recruiting class despite the roster space unless a major commitment like C.J. Leslie or Moses Abraham comes down. At the moment, both seem unlikely, so, if that's the case, odds would point to being done.

While I understand the opposing argument and I don't think that either option is particularly better or more likely to be right than the other, it does make a lot of sense to me to sign another big man. While Dino Gregory has been encouraging and Jordan Williams has been outstanding, Maryland remains perilously thin in the frontcourt. James Padgett seems to have plenty of potential, but he's played so little that he's still an unknown. Ashton Pankey has medical problems, and though early reports about the surgery are encouraging, it's impossible to know how healthy he'll be or how he'll stand up. We've seen first hand through Goins and Burney that injuries can last longer than expected. And quite honestly, you can't count on anything out of Goins right now, if he's even on the team.

If an injury happens to strike down one of the two major guys, Maryland is left with a three player frontcourt that includes two very unproven players. The consequence, assuming no Goins, would be a return to the ultra-small style of play. And while it's had mixed success, I'm ready to end the experiment without Greivis Vasquez to carry the squad.

Outside of Leslie and Abraham, whom might end up being day one starters, Eric McKnight and Juvonte Reddic remain options. There have been rumors swirling around Reddic for awhile now that aren't favorable, and I wouldn't be surprised if Maryland backed off. McKnight, however, remains an option. His recruitment has quieted lately, implying lessened activity, but that very well could be because Maryland's still recruiting and fighting for Leslie and Abraham. If both go elsewhere, it might be a good insurance policy to at least have a fifth big man on the roster.

Just my opinion, and I apologize for hijacking the general idea of the post. Moses Abraham will announce next week, likely to Georgetown (though he said very good things about Tennessee and was reportedly also blown away by Maryland-Duke). Leslie probably won't make any type of a decision until after the year. Last year, Maryland recruited into April. It wouldn't surprise me to see it again. Either way, we won't know until then what direction they've decided to take the class in.