Shooting guard Terrell Stoglin, who led the ACC in scoring this season and did his best to lead Maryland to the postseason, will return for his junior year rather than enter the NBA draft.
Stoglin announced his decision via Twitter Wednesday — “Back for another season Terpnation! he wrote — and elaborated on his decision in a telephone interview afterward.
“It’s my final decision,” Stoglin said when asked if there were a chance he’d reconsider before the NBA deadline for underclassmen to submit their names for the 2012 draft.
Stoglin said he reached his decision after talking with his father Tuesday night and with Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon on Wednesday morning. Neither tried to talk him into staying or leaving, Stoglin said, but the conversations helped him sort out what he wanted to do.
Turgeon responded to the news via a statement that read: “Terrell and I have talked, and I think he’s made an educated decision. I think this is the best decision for Terrell at this time, and it’s good for Maryland basketball. I feel like he needs to grow as a complete player, and I think Terrell wants to be part of an NCAA Tournament.”
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Stoglin led the ACC in scoring (21.2 points per game) and carried Maryland’s offense throughout a rebuilding season under Turgeon, who inherited a thin roster and lost starting point guard Pe’Shon Howard to two separate injuries for roughly half the season.
Stoglin was deployed at point guard in stretches but was clearly more comfortable shooting the ball than passing it, and Turgeon reassigned ballhandling duties to freshman Nick Faust.
Stoglin’s instinct for taking over games when the Terrapins struggled was both a blessing and a bane for Turgeon. Brimming with confidence, Stoglin thrives on taking clutch shots, and without him Maryland’s regular season record would surely have been far worse than 16-14 (6-10, ACC).
But Turgeon’s pleas for Stoglin to involve his teammates more in the offense produced mixed results, and the coach benched his shooting ace more than once in response.
On Wednesday, Stoglin cited “being a better facilitator” as one of his goals in returning for a third season at Maryland.
“I’m going to work on becoming a better shooter and being a better facilitator,” Stoglin said. “I want to become more athletic. And I want to be more of a defensive threat next season.”
Asked what Turgeon advised during their conversation about whether to return, Stoglin said: “He told me he was behind me, whatever I chose. And after I made my decision, he said I made a right one. But whatever I decided, he was with me.”
Maryland reached the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament, defeating Wake Forest in the opening round and falling to top-seeded North Carolina the next day. Stoglin was the Terrapins’ top scorer in both games, finishing with 25 points against Wake Forest (along with a team-high seven rebounds and four assists) and 30 points against North Carolina.
With Stoglin back, Howard at full strength (he underwent surgery on a torn knee ligament earlier this month) and an impressive recruiting class on the way, Maryland is expected to take a significant step forward in Turgeon’s second season.
“I’m excited about this next year,” Stoglin said. “I love Terp Nation. And [my goal is] to make the NCAA tournament and get a couple of wins.”