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Report: Terps Freshman-to-Be Sam Cassell Jr. Likely Ineligible [Update: Maryland Makes "Last-Ditch Appeal"]


At least so says Jeff Ermann at IMS. And given that they also had the Terrell Stoglin thing before anyone else, it seems likely that this is on. Emphasis mine:

University of Maryland freshman Sam Cassell Jr. is unlikely to suit up for the Terps this year - and perhaps beyond - due to NCAA eligibility issues.

Cassell, a 6-foot-3 guard who signed with the Terps in the spring and was expected to compete for immediate playing time, attended Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., as a post-graduate student last season. It's unclear if the academic roadblock relates to coursework from Notre Dame or from his previous schools in his native Baltimore - Towson Catholic and St. Frances Academy - but Cassell is unlikely to play for Maryland during the upcoming season and possibly beyond, multiple prep coaches with knowledge of the situation told InsideMDSports.

It's a little funky that it's coming from prep coaches, but I'd guess the guys at NDP would have a pretty good idea given that they'll be dealing with just as much paperwork on their end as the academics folks at UMD will. This seems like a Clearinghouse issue, so we may be forced to wait for quite some time.

While Cassell was hardly expected to be a star immediately, the fact that he was a year older than the other freshmen and able to play the point made him likely to receive major minutes this season. That he won't be able to doesn't help matters.

But then it's not a killer, either. Seth Allen is also able to play as a combo, and Logan Aronhalt could potentially get minutes at either guard spot as well. Maryland's not dealing with the same depth issues they were last year at point guard, so even without Cassell in place Mark Turgeon should be able to avoid moving Nick Faust back on the ball again.

The one thing that really concerns me is Maryland's outside shooting. Since neither Nick Faust or Dezmine Wells have proven themselves to be a sniper, the Terrapins will be relying on Aronhalt and Allen for outside shooting next year. That was Cassell's big draw, and even if he didn't have a big impact, he would've been able to stretch the floor in a way no one else on the roster can. The weight will fall all the more heavily on Allen's shoulders now.

This also makes Wells getting eligible all the more important. He'll be able to eat up a lot of minutes off the ball if the NCAA grants his waiver, which will allow Pe`Shon Howard, Allen, and Aronhalt to get more run at the point. If he's not eligible, those three will likely be divided between the two guard spots, and it'll put a greater strain on their bodies and their talents.

More coming as news leaks. But if you're a bright-side-of-life type of person: hey, here's that scholarship Roddy Peters needed! Maybe.

UPDATE: Via Jeff Goodman:

Take it for what it's worth.