Baltimore Sun reporters Jeff Barker and Don Markus and intern Connor Letourneau -- co-sports editor of The Diamondback -- weigh in on the three biggest topics of the past week in Maryland sports.
What was up with former Maryland football coach Ralph Friedgen writing a long email to reporters defending his legacy?
Jeff Barker: Coaching transitions sure can be delicate, right?
They remind me of presidential transitions. Remember when the incomingGeorge W. Bushadministration in 2001 accused the outgoing Clinton administration -- only part jokingly -- of vandalizing computer keyboards by removing “W” keys?
A blame game often develops when there is a new skipper at the helm.
Let’s say, for example, that there are issues with a football team months into the transition. That was sure the case with a struggling Maryland team in 2011.
Were those issues the result of deep-seated problems in the program stretching back to the former coach? Or could blame be properly placed at the feet of the new guy?
I don’t recall Maryland coach Randy Edsall mentioning Friedgen by name last season in responding to our questions. But reporters clearly picked up on Edsall’s theme that certain things in the program needed adjusting.
“It takes time, especially if young people aren’t used to being held accountable,” Edsall said last season. “Or they’re not used to doing things correctly all the time.”
Edsall added: "I'm not throwing anybody under the bus. I'm just telling you the truth.”
You get the sense that Friedgen was paying attention to Edsall’s remarks from afar, and felt they were out of bounds.
He’s not the first coach -- or president -- to be concerned about his legacy after he was already out the door.
Don Markus: Based on Stoglin’s performance in Las Vegas, I doubt the Raptors or any other team in the NBA will be inviting the former Maryland guard to training camp. It wasn’t that Stoglin did anything bad; he barely did anything at all.
I was curious enough one afternoon to watch part of a summer league game between the Raptors and the New York Knicks. Though the New York-based announcers spent most of the telecast I saw interviewing Amar’e Stoudemire and Raymond Felton at courtside, I caught glimpses of Stoglin.
He missed all five shots he took playing almost exclusively at shooting guard. He scored two points in a little more than 10 ½ minutes and had one assist. In the five games played out there, Stoglin shot 4 of 16 overall, and took only three 3s, making one. He averaged about seven minutes a game.
I came away after watching a little bit of the Summer League thinking that there are many players like Stoglin out there: guys who can be big-time scorers in college, but are almost non-descript at the pro level.
His size is a detriment, he has to learn how to run a team and he isn’t fast enough or shoots it well enough to make up for his deficiencies. I also think it showed that what Stoglin did in leading the ACC in scoring last season is as much an indictment of how far down the ACC is as what kind of player Stoglin is.
So what’s next for Stoglin? I think he is going to be one of those players who disappears from the landcape, making paychecks in faraway places that are several rungs below the top European leagues, let alone the NBA. I can’t even see him playing in the NBDL yet.
But I don’t think the decisions he made during his two years in College Park that eventually led to his suspension from the team and departure from the school are going to haunt him from a basketball standpoint.
Based on what I saw in the summer league, he was probably not good enough to play in the NBA anyway.
Media members picked Maryland football to finish sixth in the Atlantic Division at the ACC’s Football Kickoff in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday. Is that a fair prediction?
Connor Letourneau: Definitely. Randy Edsall can talk all he wants about ensuring “sustained success,” but the reality remains that the Terps just aren’t a very good football team.
They lack talent, have question marks all over the field and are transitioning two new coordinators. Playing in the same conference as Sammy Watkins and E.J. Manuel, that’s not exactly a recipe for success.
The problems start on offense. C.J. Brown is now the man under center, but is that really worth getting excited about? Outside of a few noteworthy scrambles last season, he was largely ineffective. He completed just 49.4 percent of his passes, averaged less than a touchdown a game and was winless as a starter.
Add that to a less than impressive spring, and I’m not convinced Brown’s a legitimate ACC quarterback.
In fact, I’m not sure the Terps have a go-to offensive weapon at all. Sophomore Justus Pickett lacks the size (5-feet-10, 175 pounds) to be an every-down running back. Senior wide receivers Kevin Dorsey and Kerry Boykins are the trusted veterans, but have yet to prove they have big-play potential. And all-everything freshman Stefon Diggs will likely need a year of seasoning before he’s a true difference maker.
Luckily for the Terps, though, defense is a bit more of a known commodity. All-American defensive lineman Joe Vellano will anchor a group returning 10 of 11 starters, and senior linebacker Kenny Tate — who missed the final eight games of last season with a knee injury — should be ready to go by the start of practice on Aug. 5.
Of course, experience can only do so much. The Terps ranked 102nd in Division I last season in average points allowed (34.3). Even if all their players manage to stay healthy, their defense is still mediocre at best. They simply don’t have the size or skill to shut down top-notch offenses.
So even though I expect Maryland to improve upon last year’s 2-10 record, I still think the Terps are the worst team in the Atlantic Division.
But who knows? Maybe it can string together a couple upsets and leapfrog Boston College for the No. 5 slot.