Parker, a former four-star recruit out of high school, largely struggled to acclimate to the college game. As a sophomore, he averaged 4.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in 18.0 minutes per game, but showed vast improvement over the year, especially on the defensive end.
East Carolina, UAB (Rob Ehsan's newest landing spot), and Loyola (we assume MD) were the schools he mentioned in the statement.
This frees up a key scholarship for Maryland that will likely be used either on Michigan transfer Evan Smotrycz or saved for the 2013 class. In terms of depth, it doesn't hurt Maryland too much - Nick Faust is a much more productive wing and Jake Layman is coming in to fill a similar position Parker held last year.
Best of luck to Parker in his future opportunities.
The full statement after the jump.
Recently, I met with Coach Turgeon and he informed me that I should probably start looking at other options as he expected my opportunities on the court at Maryland to decrease due to his incoming recruits. Up until this meeting, it was my intention to continue to work hard and graduate from Maryland. I highly respect Coach Turgeon as a person for his honesty in this situation. I am never the person to back away from a challenge and would never be scared to compete for a spot. I honestly believe I would have thrived under those circumstances. Unfortunately, after many sleepless and prayerful nights, I came to the realization that it may be in my best interest to continue my education and career at another institution. In the end, it's best to be where you are wanted and needed the most. This is the toughest decision of my life, and it is something I never thought I would have to do, even up until just a few weeks ago. I have no hard feelings towards the Maryland staff, and I completely understand the business side of things and will always consider myself a Terp for life.
I would also like to stress how great the University of Maryland and its fans are. I truly do not believe there is a better fan base and institution I could have selected coming out of high school. Playing for one of college basketball's greatest coaches of all-time in Gary Williams was a dream come true. I also enjoyed my time under Coach Turgeon, whose understanding and teaching of the game really brought my play to a whole new level. My goal from Day 1 of verbally committing to the University of Maryland was to graduate and then fulfill my lifelong dream of playing in the NBA. Until recently, I believed I was on track to accomplish these two very important goals. I have only recently learned what it takes in terms of my work ethic both on and off the court to reach these lofty aspirations. My whole life, I've relied on my God-given abilities, and Coach Turgeon has helped me to understand the type of work it takes to reach the next level. Coming from a very poor and rural town in Eastern North Carolina, it was an amazing blessing for Maryland to give me such a tremendous opportunity, and I am forever indebted.
Again, I'd like to stress how grateful I am for the University of Maryland's opportunities and support over the last two years. I will continue to support Maryland in any way possible. I have made friends for life here, and am very torn by this situation.
Currently East Carolina is showing the strongest interest and have been in regular contact. They are located 15 minutes from home which is a crucial factor. I am also interested in The University of Alabama-Birmingham, due to my relationship with Rob Ehsan, who recruited me to Maryland out of high school. Loyola has also shown interest recently. That having been said, I remain open to any and all schools who might have an interest in me. However, I would prefer going to a school closer to home.
Thank you again for your support, and Go Terps!