I wrote two stories for tomorrow’s paper about Maryland sophomore Terrell Stoglin. I had been wanting to learn more about what kind of guy Terrell is, and whether he was assured of returning for his junior season.
He’s obviously a versatile scorer – tough, intense, rarely in doubt – and he has taken an almost unprecedented percentage of the team’s shots this season. He accounts for slightly more than 30 percent of Maryland’s field-goal attempts this season, which places him historically in a small group of Terps who really liked to shoot it.
I looked into this bit of hoops history with John McNamara of the Annapolis Capital. In the 1991-92 season, when Walt Williams averaged 26.8 points -- the best single-season mark in school history -- his shots represented about 28.8 percent of the Terps' total. The only player with a higher percentage than Stoglin is Bob Kessler (about 33 percent in 1954-55).
My profile describes a guy – Stoglin – who has eyed the NBA since he began realizing he could outplay the bigger kids when he was at White Elementary School in Tucson. He’s pretty NBA-obsessed, and he has a poster of Allen Iverson in his room even now. You might remember watching Iverson driving into the lane among far bigger players. So does Stoglin, who seems to emulate Iverson and is comfortable drawing contact. “I’ve been playing in a YMCA league since I was in kindergarten,” Stoglin said. “I would play with the second-graders, and when I was in second-grade I would play with the fourth-graders. It just helped me with that mentality to take it at the bigger guys.”
It’s interesting that Stoglin believes that Maryland fans have yet to see his complete game – that he feels a bit misunderstood. “I could pass really well,” he told me. “Coach [Mark] Turgeonsaid it, too. Coach [Larry] Brown said I’m a great passer. I want to be in position where I can show people my game.”
Here's the thing: When I called Stoglin's high school coach, Jim Ferguson, he absolutely vouched for the player. "Passing is his best skill," Ferguson said. "For whatever reason, he hasn't shown it [this season]."
Note that Brown is referred to by Stoglin as a coach. He’s not on the staff, of course, but has obviously been around practices enough to make an impression on the Terps.
So what about the question of Stoglin’s plans for next season? Might he do a Jordan Williams and depart after his sophomore season? I did a separate story on this.
Stoglin said all the diplomatic things to me – that he’s still maturing as a player, that he loves Maryland and considers it his home.
If you’ve been to Arizona, you’ll understand that Stoglin occasionally misses the state. “The main thing I miss is probably the scenery – the sunsets, the mountains. It’s always like summer over there. And Mexican food. The closest thing out here is Chipotle. I go there regularly, but it’s not like back home at all.”
But that’s just an aside. The bottom line is that Maryland has been expecting Stoglin to return. And that remains the “goal,” Joe Stoglin, the player’s father, told me. But Joe Stoglin said the family isn’t ready to make a final decision. They’re not prepared just yet to postpone the player’s NBA dreams for another season (or two) until they’ve done all their homework.