Maryland sophomore shooting guard Dion Wiley is out for the season with a torn right meniscus. None of us knew it until Tuesday, but Wiley was expected to be Maryland's starting shooting guard, suggesting he developed a great deal between the end of last season and the start of this one. That he won't be a part of one of the most talented teams Maryland has ever had is a terrible shame for Wiley, but it's almost just as big a shame for the Terrapins.
All in all, Maryland is going to be OK. Even if Wiley had become the second coming of Kobe Bryant over the course of the offseason, he was still only going to be one of three high-end shooting guards on the roster. The others are Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon and sophomore Jared Nickens. Sulaimon is a slashing, expert perimeter defender, while Nickens is a three-point aficionado who has sought to round out his game heading into this year.
There's still a lot here, and it's true that sorting out all the pieces is now not as difficult.
Dion Wiley's injury may actually help Maryland's role allocation. Things become more defined for Layman, Sulaimon, & Nickens.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) November 10, 2015
This isn't wrong, exactly but it's also irrelevant. Turgeon is a smart man who's paid a lot of money to figure things like this out, and there's no reason to think he wouldn't have been able to get the right stuff out of three shooting guards instead of two. I also don't think it changes much for Layman, who probably isn't going to spend more than a few minutes all year playing as a two-guard. Turgeon would've had to be more creative to keep Nickens, Sulaimon and Wiley all involved, but odds are he'd have been able to do it, and Maryland would have been a better team.
Wiley's injury makes Maryland's vaunted backcourt depth a little bit more ordinary, and that could hurt. It's hard to say exactly what Wiley would've been, because he truthfully wasn't superb as a freshman. He had a hard time making shots and was Maryland's clear No 3 shooting guard behind Nickens and Richaud Pack, and even Dez Wells.
Prior to Turgeon's proclamation on Tuesday that he expected Wiley to start for Maryland, this felt less consequential than it does now. That's because we can only know what we can see, and Wiley's individual workouts and practice sessions aren't on TV. Turgeon clearly thinks Wiley got a lot better, which means the 2015-16 rendition of Maryland is losing something significant. This makes sense. Wiley was a four-star recruit, and he's not the first major prospect to come to college as an unfinished product and get a lot better.
Assuming all goes relatively according to plan with Wiley's rehabilitation, he'll be healthy in plenty of time to be a strong part of Maryland's 2016-17 team. But for now, Maryland's war chest of talent is a little bit lighter. That makes sorting out a rotation a simpler task, but that's a problem Turgeon was certainly glad to have.