Maryland Basketball: Terps' Incoming Freshman Sam Cassell Jr. Ruled Ineligible

Ryan SatskyContributor IIISeptember 11, 2012

Sam Cassell Jr.
Sam Cassell Jr.

Sam Cassell Jr. was planning on following his father's footsteps by attending an ACC school and hopefully advancing to the NBA.

That plan just endured a major speed bump.

Cassell's former prep coaches have informed InsideMDSports that the young Baltimore standout will most likely not play for Maryland this year like he was supposed to, and possibly not ever.

While it is evident that Cassell has violated the NCAA's eligibility policy, the exact circumstances of his situation are currently unspecified.

Cassell, a 6'3'' shooting guard, attended Notre Dame Prep in Massachussets last year as a post-graduate. He was set to be part of a five-piece Maryland recruiting class which was impressively hauled in by Mark Turgeon.

The article from InsideMDSports explains Cassell's options:

If Cassell prefers to remain committed to Maryland, sources said, he could attend a junior college for two years and earn an associate degree before returning to College Park. But he’s also exploring the possibility of moving on to a school -- potentially one competing in the Atlantic 10 -- that accepts players under NCAA Proposition 48, which allows partial qualifiers to enroll immediately and begin competing during their second season.

Had Cassell been able to remain at Maryland, he would have encountered a big struggle fighting for playing time.

With returning guards Pe'Shon Howard and Nick Faust likely occupying the starting guard positions, and Seth Allen or Logan Aronhalt most likely being the next guard off the bench, Cassell would have been unhappily buried at the bottom of the depth chart.

In addition, with Xavier transfer Dez Wells arriving in College Park no later than 2013-14, playing time for guards at Maryland will soon be getting even more sparse. Factor in that Maryland's four top 2013 recruiting targets are guards, and it's possible the Cassell wouldn't have lasted long at Maryland anyway.

While Cassell may not have been in a prime position to receive major minutes, that does not detract from his talent as a basketball prospect. And believe me, the kid can play.

Cassell had offers from Connecticut, South Florida and Florida State. Last season at Notre Dame Prep, Cassell totaled 16 points per game.

Losing Cassell, potentially for good, is a sincere blow to Maryland's depth at guard.

But, an optimistic Maryland fan can only look at this unfortunate situation one way—more room for recruits.

Specifically, ones that have the last name Harrison.