COLLEGE PARK — It might not be the same as losing five quarterbacks in a season, as happened to Maryland’s football team in 2012, or losing the top two quarterbacks on the depth chart in three weeks, which happened to the Terps last season.
But you have the feeling that both Randy Edsell and DJ Durkin understand Mark Turgeon’s pain.
The injury bug struck Turgeon and the Terps again Thursday, when it was announced that sophomore forward Justin Jackson will be out for the season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
Not only does Jackson becomes the seventh Maryland player in Turgeon’s seven years to sustain a serious, or season-ending, injury, his absence might be felt more than any other Terp who missed significant time during this stretch.
Here’s what happened to the other players and how their injuries impacted the Terps.
2011-12: In Turgeon’s first season at Maryland, starting point guard Pe’Shon Howard missed the first nine games after breaking his foot in the preseason and then missed the last nine after tearing his ACL. Sophomore Terrell Stoglin and freshman Nick Faust shared point guard duties for the other 14 games. Stoglin battled Turgeon over his role and off-court issues (he was ultimately dismissed from the team after the season) and Faust was not well-suited for the job. The Terps were 6-3 the first nine games without Howard and freshman center Alex Len, who sat out the first 10 because of an NCAA-imposed suspension, and 3-6 the last nine without Howard. Maryland finished 17-15 and was not invited to a postseason tournament.
2013-14: After a relatively injury-free 2012-13 season that saw Maryland win 25 games and make the semifinals of the NIT, sophomore point guard Seth Allen broke his foot in the preseason. Allen came back too quickly and except for a couple of games (including a career-high 32 points against Florida State) never regained his explosiveness. Michigan transfer Evan Smotrycz injured his back after playing well in a late-season double-overtime loss at Clemson and again in the first half of a win over Virginia in Maryland’s last ACC home game, but sat out a first-round loss to Florida State in the ACC tournament. The Terps finished 17-15 and were again denied a postseason tournament invitation.
2014-15: After Smotrycz broke his foot in the preseason and missed eight of the first 10 games, fellow senior Dez Wells broke his wrist in the championship game of the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. Though Wells didn’t realize the wrist was broken until after the Terps upset No. 13 Iowa State behind freshman Melo Trimble’s MVP performance, the team’s star guard wound up sitting out a little more more than a month before returning to the team’s first Big Ten game — a double-overtime win at Michigan State. Behind the strong play of Wells and Trimble, both of whom were selected first-team all-Big Ten, the Terps finished 28-7 (14-4 in the Big Ten) and went to their first NCAA tournament under Turgeon before losing in the Round of 32 to West Virginia after Trimble suffered a concussion.
2015-16: When sophomore guard Dion Wiley tore his meniscus and had season-ending surgery a few days before the Terps opened the year as the No. 3 team in the nation, Turgeon said that the injury could prove costly considering how well Wiley was playing after a disappointing freshman year. Despite one of the best starting lineups in the country, Maryland had virtually no depth and after a 22-3 start faded after Trimble limped through the second half of the season with an injured hamstring. The Terps wound up 27-9 and making their first Sweet 16 since 2003, but Turgeon often wondered what might have happened had Wiley been healthy.
2016-17: After a school-record 20-2 start despite having three freshmen starters, including Jackson, supporting Trimble, the Terps were seemingly coming out of a late-season sputter when they won two straight games, including a win at Northwestern where Trimble scored a career-high 32 points. Four days later, junior center Michal Cekovsky suffered a season-ending broken ankle in a road loss at Wisconsin. While Cekovsky was a backup to senior Damonte Dodd, the Terps were able to play more uptempo with the 7-foot-1 Slovakian in the lineup. Without him, Maryland struggled immediately, losing badly at home to both Minnesota and Iowa. The Terps were eventually bounced out of the Big Ten tournament in Washington after a first-round loss to Northwestern and wound up seeing a 24-9 season end with a Round of 64 loss to Xavier in the NCAA tournament in Orlando.