Maryland fans everywhere were in anguish 11 days ago when the Harrison twins chose Kentucky (and Nike) over their beloved Terps (and Under Armour). Andrew and Aaron Harrison were considered the saviors of sorts, a pair of talented brothers who could bring this program back to national relevance.
But Mark Turgeon doesn't necessarily need the Harrison twins in order to compete for a Final Four. What he needs is sophomore 7-footer Alex Len to remain in College Park beyond this season. Then the Terps will be a major player on the national level.
Here's their 10-man rotation for a year from now in 2013-14 if the big Ukranian sticks around:
That's pretty impressive and certainly a collection of talent that can compete for an ACC title -- especially when you factor in Turgeon's X's-and-O's ability.
Maryland landed a commitment from Peters on Tuesday morning, according to several reports. Peters is a local combo guard who isn't Andrew Harrison, but he is a top-50 player and a likely four-year kid. He and Howard give the Terps a pair of quality point guards -- although Peters can also play off the ball. Wells and Faust are two high-level wings, Layman and Smotrycz are two skilled forwards and Turgeon could have a big-man duo of Len and Cleare.
Turgeon and his staff have yet to land that elite-level player, but the Terps have managed to add four top-75 players (if you include Wells) since he got the job less than 18 months ago.
I'm not sure next year's team ultimately will get to the Final Four in Dallas, but it's certainly not far away. When Turgeon took over, I said the Terps would be in the Final Four within five years. Maryland could -- if things break right -- have an opportunity (as long as Len returns) in Year 3.
Yes, even without the Harrisons.