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Maryland basketball has tons of roster flexibility after NBA Draft declarations

Mark Turgeon will have at least three scholarship spots to play with this summer.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland men's basketball team enters the offseason with no more than six scholarship players from last season likely to return. The Terps have a three-man committed freshman class lined up, and it's extremely possible they'll have four scholarship spots to play with heading into next season – give or take.

Diamond Stone and Robert Carter Jr. have each declared for the NBA Draft and hired agents, so their college careers are over. Melo Trimble declared, too, but didn't hire an agent. If he ultimately decides to return – and Maryland will surely keep a seat warm for him – coach Mark Turgeon will still have at least three scholarship slots available.

It's a helpful bit of flexibility for Turgeon, who has added transfers to his roster throughout his five seasons in College Park. The team's current scholarship outlook stacks up like this. Seniors are red, juniors are yellow, sophomores are black and freshman are off-yellow (i.e., the most visible remaining color we could find):

2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
Damonte Dodd Jared Nickens Dion Wiley Antony Cowan
Jared Nickens Michal Cekovsky Ivan Bender Kevin Huerter
Michal Cekovsky Jaylen Brantley Anthony Cowan Micah Thomas
Jaylen Brantley Dion Wiley Kevin Huerter OPEN
Dion Wiley Ivan Bender Micah Thomas OPEN
Ivan Bender Anthony Cowan OPEN OPEN
Anthony Cowan Kevin Huerter OPEN OPEN
Kevin Huerter Micah Thomas OPEN OPEN
Melo Trimble declared for NBA Draft, did not hire an agent.
This calculation assumes Trimble does not return to school.

Mark Turgeon has options

The NCAA has a 13-scholarship limit, and it's going to be very hard for Turgeon to hit it. He'll be able to fill out his roster virtually however he chooses, whether it's via the transfer route or old-fashioned high school and prep recruiting. (Maryland has also recruited internationally before, and that's not something to rule out.)

In the past, Maryland's been able to give scholarships to former walk-ons who have worked exceptionally hard. That's a wonderful and heartwarming thing, of course, but it's not something a Big Ten coach really wants to do. Turgeon's team next year has very little depth right now, but it's early, and his biggest task this summer will be to fill it out.

The best thing Maryland could do would be to land five-star wing Terrance Ferguson, an athletic three-point marksman who dominated at Nike's Hoop Summit last week. Ferguson will make a college decision this week, and Maryland's a contender even if people don't widely expect the Terps to get him:

It's possible Turgeon will pull some other rabbit out of his hat during this spring's late signing period, and he could stock his cupboard that way. If not, though, it's Ferguson or a graduate transfer.

Next year's Maryland team will miss at least 80 percent – and quite possibly all – of this year's starting lineup, which will hurt a lot. The turnover's going to be massive, whether Trimble returns or not. But how Turgeon approaches the summer will dictate how quickly his roster gets back to national prominence.