As the 2020-2021 Maryland Basketball season came to a screeching halt against Alabama in the NCAA Tournament with a crushing loss to a red hot Alabama Crimson Tide 96-77.
It was not the ending that Maryland fans had hoped for, as for most pundits, Maryland overachieved and won a few more games than anyone had predicted, so I think it was a great season for Coach Mark Turgeon and the Maryland basketball team in general.
But, as with most high-profile college basketball programs the moment the season is over, a new season begins. I like to use a NASCAR term when referring to the Maryland basketball off-season, which is what NASCAR folks call their off-season which is “Silly Season”. The college basketball world and College Park do not disappoint, but so far this offseason I think “silly season” for me, really has been a real silly season and I do mean that in the craziest way that I can, as College Park has been very busy this offseason.
So, what has the talk of the off-season been so far? Let’s see, every season there is always the talk about Coach Turgeon is he coming or going, is he getting bought out, and what schools are out there that Turgeon could be linked with. What players are graduating, going pro, or entering the transfer portal?
We are talking about a program that could they get to replace them and could be competitive next year, etc, etc. How ready will Terp’s 2021 freshmen class of James Graham, Ike Cornish, and Julian Reece be as well? If your a Maryland fan or just a college basketball fan in general, these are the three big questions this off-season for the Maryland Terp’s basketball program. Here is the one thing that has not been silly. As expected the big three of Morsell, Wiggins and Ayala are doing what we all thought and what everyone for the most part expected them to do.
Let’s begin with Maryland senior Darryl Morsell, not only is Morsell exploring his NBA draft stock and possibly entering the draft, but he also is talking about two other options which are using his extra year of eligibility because of the pandemic to either transfer to another program or return to Maryland. At this point, there is no rush for an answer from the man I call “Mr. Maryland”, as he will no doubt do what is best for him.
Next, is junior guard Aaron Wiggins and I think Wiggins is the one that everyone thinks right now at this point is 50-50 on whether he will stay in the draft or come back to College Park for his senior season. Wiggins recently signed with an agent, but still has left the door open to a return to College Park. There is no question that Wiggins has the skill and talent to be a special player, but if I am being honest I think Wiggins could greatly improve his stock by coming back for this, his senior season.
The third member of the “big three” that is exploring the NBA waters is Junior Guard Eric Ayala. Ayala has improved his game over the last three years since joining the Terps. Ayala provided the experience that was needed last year, as last year’s Terp’s was not the Maryland team that we are accustomed to, considering the big men that the Terp’s previously had over the last few years in Bruno Fernando and Jalen “Styx” Smith. Like Wiggins, in my opinion, Ayala would benefit by coming back to College Park for his senior season with the Terps.
Now let us move on to the actual “silly season”, so get ready Terp fans, there is a lot to unpack here, but in the end, we all can “dream a little dream”, as silly season, will soon become a reality and expectations will be high.