08-09 Maryland Basketball Slogan: ‘Players Optional'

Over Memorial Day weekend the news broke that troubled junior college transfer Tyree Evans would not be attending Maryland after all and it looked like Gary Williams was going to have trouble putting 5 ACC caliber players on the court next season. Williams' roster predicament became even more perilous with Tuesday's news that former top 50 recruit Gus Gilchrist is going to transfer out of the program after losing his second appeal to the ACC to lessen his eligibility penalty for backing out of his original letter of intent to Virginia Tech. Without delving into the correctness of the ACC's decision (it's a garbage ruling in my opinion) - this is a huge blow to a Maryland roster that was already going to be very thin up front and was going to depend on Gilchrist to replace graduated seniors James Gist and Bambale Osby and anchor the paint in ACC play.

This off season has wreaked havoc on the Terrapin roster. The list of recruits who committed to Maryland who will now fail to make it onto the court for the 2008-2009 season includes Bobby Maze, Tyree Evans and Gus Gilchrist. In addition to those 3, Shane Walker transferred out of the program in April. The bad news might not be over either, as incoming recruit Sean Mosley has not yet academically qualified and it's still not 100% certain whether or not Jin Soo Kim will be coming in the class of 2008 or 2009. Even if both Kim and Mosley end up in College Park this fall, Maryland will still only have 12 players.

Gary Williams has already said that Maryland is still recruiting and that "we're going to have more players than what we have". Whether that means that Williams and his staff are going to comb through the junior college ranks or try and find an undiscovered gem from high school that hasn't been signed yet or even look internationally isn't clear - but it's going to be a tall task for them to come up with an ACC caliber player this late in the recruiting year no matter where they look. What is clear is that a Terrapin program that won the national championship in 2002 is seriously struggling to field a complete roster just 6 years later without any NCAA probation or other outside circumstances. There's no way to view this other than a total failure in recruiting and player retention over the past several years.

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