Logan Aronhalt, the latest addition to Maryland’s revolving basketball roster, doesn’t expect to march in as a transfer and lead the Terrapins in scoring next season.
But at 22, with three seasons of college experience and a degree from Albany, the 6-foot-3 shooting guard believes he can provide some of the consistency and seasoning Maryland’s young team will need in Coach Mark Turgeon’s second season.
A native of Zanesville, Ohio, Aronhalt confirmed Monday that he’s transferring to Maryland to help shore up a depleted back court. He’ll be eligible to compete immediately because he plans to enroll in graduate school, taking advantage of the same NCAA provision that’s enabling former Maryland quarterback Danny O’Brien to compete next season at Wisconsin.
Aronhalt said he was first contacted by Maryland assistant coach Scott Spinelli about the Terps’ interest and followed up by telephone with Turgeon, who impressed him as “a real down-to-earth, honest guy.”
“Most of my talks with Coach centered around my experience and the leadership I could provide the team next year — especially with all the young players,” Aronhalt said in a telephone interview. “He said he needs some guys with experience playing and competing at a high level.
Aronhalt, who graduated in December with a degree in human biology and will pursue graduate studies in kinesiology, had surgery to remove a bone fragment in his patella tendon immediately after the season. He also suffered a herniated disk in his back during the season. But he said he expects to be full strength in two or three weeks, with no lingering effects.
“I know I’m not going to come in and score 25 points per game,” he said. “But being a solid player and providing that leadership, I believe I can help the team.”
Maryland’s roster has been in a near constant state of flux since the 17-15 season ended.
Turgeon has signed five recruits: 6-9 center Shaquille Cleare, 6-8 power forward Charles Mitchell, 6-8 small forward Jake Layman, and shooting guards Sam Cassell Jr. and Seth Allen.
Aronhalt is the second transfer to sign on, joining Michigan’s Evan Smotrycz, a 6-9 forward with three-point range. Smotrycz won’t be eligible until 2013-14.
Redshirt freshman Mychal Parker announced in April that he was transferring. Soon after, sophomore Terrell Stoglin, the ACC’s leading scorer, declared for the NBA draft after being suspended for one year for a violation of the student-athlete code of conduct.
It’s unclear how Maryland’s presumptive starting point guard, Pe’shon Howard, will respond after suffering a broken left foot on the eve of last season and tearing the ACL in his right knee in February. Freshman Nick Faust took on ballhandling duties admirably, but his strengths are better suited to shooting guard.
Maryland defeated Albany, 83-72, in College Park on Dec. 28 in a game that marked the debut of 7-1 center Alex Len. Stoglin led the Terps with 22 points. Aronhalt played 37 minutes for Albany, scoring 13 points on 4-of-17 shooting while adding six rebounds, one assist and two steals. Albany finished the season 19-15 and fourth in the America East (9-7).
“The facilities were amazing,” Aronhalt recalled of Comcast Center. “It was a great experience playing in front of fans and seeing how passionate they were.”