Maryland announced that it has formally signed two basketball recruits to letters of intent. In addition to the three players who had already been on board for this fall the Terps added forward Haukur Palsson and guard Pe’Shon Howard. The signing of Howard helps to soften the blow of losing Terrence Ross who flaked out on Maryland and Stu Vetter at Montrose Christian. The 6’2” Howard is a mature physical specimen and will probably be one of the more physical guards in the ACC when he walks onto campus this fall. He played for the always loaded Oak Hill Academy team with some elite talent including Doron Lamb and Roscoe Smith. Howard didn’t get lost in the shuffle like Oak Hill alumni Landon Milbourne though and was a major factor on a team that played elite competition all season long. Howard is a jack of all trades who can drive to the basket and shoot from outside as well as distribute the ball. He is more of a combination point and shooting guard but has good ball handling skills and should be able to guard either position in college. Howard was a good catch for Maryland so late in the recruiting season after Ross backed out of his commitment. I expect he will have a significant reserve roll from the start as he gives Gary Williams a physical defensive presence to go along with Sean Mosley.
Palsson also plays for a high school powerhouse in Montverde Academy in Florida. A native of Iceland Palsson does fit the mold of a “Euro” style player. He can shoot and handle the ball well for his 6’6” height and seems like a decent rebounder. He has to put on some muscle to be able to play inside in college. With Mychal Parker coming in as another wing player in 2010 and Sean Mosley entrenched as the third guard I would not expect much from Palsson for the first few years. Like Landon Milbourne he is the kind of player that will contribute when he is a junior and senior.
Howard and fellow guard Terrell Stoglin make a very nice pair of guards in this class and they showed well in the Capital Classic last week. Stoglin reminds me of a bigger and better version of Clemson’s Andre Young. He is a sharp shooting lefty who is a good ball handler and runs the floor very well. He is bigger than he seemed when I saw video of him last spring and the big question for Stoglin is can he guard at the ACC level. I think his offense will be excellent and he will run the fast break very well for Gary Williams.
The word is that the other 2010 recruit power forward Ashton Pankey is mostly recovered from an injury that ended his senior season. Maryland needs a fourth player in the front court as it looks like Steve Goins will never be healthy enough to contribute.
Gary Williams will be the subject of the Lunch With a Legend at Morton’s The Steakhouse in downtown D.C. on Monday the 26th. You can call (202)955-5997 for details on getting a reservation. It will be broadcast live on ESPN980.