Ranking The Frosh: No. 7 – Maryland

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MARYLAND 2o10-2011 INCOMING FRESHMAN

  • (C-JC) Berend Weijs (6’10)
  • (PG-28) Pe’Shon Howard (6’2, 185) ☆☆☆
  • (SF-NR) Haukur Palsson (6’6, 215) ☆☆
  • (PF-48) Ashton Pankey (6’8, 220) ☆☆☆
  • (SF-13) Mychal Parker (6’6, 195) ☆☆☆☆
  • (SG-34) Terrell Stoglin (6’0, 160) ☆☆☆

Coach Gary Williams is bringing in six new faces in 2010. Overall, it’s not a mind-blowing class. It features only one four-star player, a few threes and some foreign born players. Most are projects that won’t see heavy minutes until later in their careers. A couple though could earn some solid minutes right away.

If I can think of one word to describe this class (and then use it three times), it’s potential, potential, potential. Gary Williams doesn’t have star power, but that’s never really been his style.

Why don’t we just roll through them individually.

Center Berend Weijs is one of two foreigners arriving in 2010. The 6’10 Juco transfer is originally from the Netherlands. Like so many foreign big men, Weijs is agile and mobile. He’s a post-player, but he can run the floor like a small forward.

He’s primarily a shot blocker, swatting 119 last season for Harcum College. Overall, he averaged 6.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in only 17 minutes of action. He shot a stunning 65.7 from the floor.

Haukur Palsson is a small forward from Iceland. At 6’6, he’s a multidimensional player, who can be either a small power forward or a lengthy shooting guard. As a senior, he shot a solid 52 percent from two and 41 percent from three.

At 6’3, 200 pound, Pe’Shon Howard is a burly point guard. He’s a high energy guy, who knows how to compete. He could be one of the ACC’s best freshman defenders, who can turn an average pass into a quick dunk the other way.

While he can play either guard spot, he’s probably best at the point. He’s a decent passer, but more importantly, he’s a bull when driving to the lane and can score with contact. He can also use his wide-frame to post up smaller guards in the post.

Ashton Punkey is a three-star 6’8 power forward. Although a bit thin (roughly 200 pounds), The Testudo Times calls him “a Gary type of guy.”

If you don’t know what that means, you have no business reading an ACC basketball blog.

Not known for his offensive abilities, Punkey is all about his defensive skills. He can stop, steal and block anyone, thus Coach Williams can use Punkey to guard multiple positions on the floor.

On the offensive end, the best way to describe Punkey is…opportunist. He doesn’t possess many offensive moves, but he’s an excellent leaper and a scrappy rebounder. He loves to hang around the rim, waiting for good things to happen.

In need of an outside shoot, look no further than Terrell Stoglin. The lefty is primarily a long-distance shooter. He averaged 29.4 points per game as a senior in high school, dishing out 6.4 assists for good measure.

Currently, he’s listed as a shooting guard, despite standing only about six-feet tall. The problem is, there are questions about his speed and athleticism, but the kid can dunk, so how nonathletic can he really be?

The cream of the 2010 crop though has to be small forward Mychal Parker. Unlike the rest of the Maryland class, he’s a true scorer. While he can shoot both mid-range and long-range shots, Parker is renowned for his finishes at the rim. In fact, this kid is determined to dunk anything and everything.

He has the perfect basketball body…6’6, 190, broad shoulders and long limbs. In fact, he reminds me of a slightly shorter Devin Ebanks.

Of course like Ebanks, there are some concerns with his focus. He can get streaky and can fall asleep on the defensive end. Obviously these are issues and concerns Gary Williams should have no problem taking care of over time.

While the Terrapins are giving up a ton of talent this year (with the graduation of Grevis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, and Landon Milbourne), they still have some ball players to fill those holes. None of these freshman will be asked to walk right in and start. That’s good news for Maryland fans.

Barring injury, all six players will be able to work their way into playing time and do what they’re good at. While Mychal Parker will probably get the most minutes this year, I’ll throw you a ballsy prediction. Pe’Shon Howard is the starting point guard when the season ends. Yeah, I went there.

In the end though, this recruitment class is about the future. We’ll again in three years and I bet we’ll be raving more about this class (which means I’ll be wishing I ranked it higher than seventh.

OTHER TEAM RANKINGS:

No. 8 – Virginia Tech

No. 9 – Miami

No. 10 – Georgia Tech

No. 11 – Clemson

No. 12 – Boston College