Stoglin: Maryland would be a top 25 team under Gary Williams

(Tami Chappell / Reuters)
(Tami Chappell / Reuters)

As news came out Monday afternoon that three highly recruited Maryland players — Nick Faust, Roddy Peters and Shaq Cleare — would all transfer, another former Terp suddenly became part of the conversation.

That would be Terrell Stoglin, the one-time high-scoring guard who played for Gary Williams as a freshman, led the ACC in scoring under Mark Turgeon as a sophomore, pledged to return for his junior year, but then was suspended for a violation of team rules and left the program.

That tweet, it’s safe to say, was widely interpreted as a shot at Turgeon. Stoglin — who is now playing professionally in Italy — then appeared on WNST Wednesday morning, and attempted to clarify what he meant in a lengthy conversation.

“First of all, let me say this: I feel like Coach Turgeon is a great coach,” Stoglin said. “I have no right to challenge his authority as a coach. But I was speaking from the players’ standpoint. And what I meant by that is when Coach Williams was there, he didn’t have the talent that Coach Turgeon is working with, but he still got the best out of his players. And I feel like if Coach Williams was still there, with the talent that’s at Maryland, they would be a top 25 team, they would be in the tournament. You’ve got to get the best out of your players, and I feel like that’s not happening at the University of Maryland right now.”

That does not really soften the tweet much.

“The difference is confidence,” Stoglin said. “As a player, especially at the highest level of the ACC, you need to have a coach that’s going to give you the confidence that you need to be successful. And I feel like right now, the players that are leaving, they feel like their confidence has left them and they haven’t been put in positions to be successful. So for me, I feel like that’s the main thing. Especially playing in the ACC, you need that confidence from your coach: that when you get out on the court, you’re gonna give him your all, because you guys are in there together, you’re battling for your coach. And that was the difference that I noticed when I played for both coaches.”

Stoglin went on to describe the harm caused by looking over your shoulder after every mistake, to see whether the coach is going to sub you out. I seem to recall Gary Williams not always loving mistakes. Regardless, Stoglin kept insisting that there is more to this story than people realize.

“For the people that’s not on the inside of basketball, these players, it’s not their fault,” Stoglin said. “It’s a bigger picture. When you’ve  got three talented players that are leaving the program at the same time, something’s going on. And I felt like as their big brother, and talking to them, they’re hurt that the people that were for them are starting to bash them now because they’re leaving the program. But what those people don’t understand is that there’s more to it. They’re not in those players’ shoes. So I felt like it was on me as a big brother to just speak from the players’ standpoint, and that’s what I tweeted about….I feel like these three players will thrive when they leave. Wherever they go, they’re gonna thrive, because they’re good players, man, they’re good players.”

After all of that, Stoglin still said he believes Maryland can get back to its past standing under Turgeon.

“Eventually, yes,” the guard said. “I think he’s a great coach and he knows the game real well, especially learning from the great Larry Brown. So I know Maryland will become Maryland basketball again. But I’m just talking from the players’ standpoint right now. And I don’t want people to think that my tweet was about any kind of beef or sour relationship that I have with Coach Turgeon. I have no bad relationship with Coach Turgeon. I never really had any. The only sourness I had was two years ago.

“I was simply speaking on behalf of these players that are leaving,” he said. “I seen them taking a lot of negativity, and I just wanted to put it out there. People don’t know what these players are going through. When you have three players leaving the program at the same time, it’s a bigger picture than these guys just not playing well and just want to get out of there. There’s more to it.”

Listen to the full audio here.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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