So, Maryland dipped into the JUCO ranks to fill out its roster for next season.
Meet 6-foot-10 Berend Weijs, who comes to College Park by way of Harcum College in suburban Philadelphia.
(He's originally from the Netherlands. If you're playing global basketball bingo and have that on the same card as South Korea, the United Kingdom, Venezuela and Iceland, there's a decent chance you've already won with players who have passed through Maryland's program in the last three years).
Anyway, Weijs joins a long line of junior college additions to the Terrapins' program in the last decade.
You may remember the likes of:
* Ryan Randle (2001): 13.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 62 blocks at Allegany CC
* Jamar Smith (2002): 17.9 ppg, 12.8 rpg at Allegany CC
* Sterling Ledbetter (2004): 13.9 ppg, 7.1 apg, 6.1 rpg at Allegany CC
* Parrish Brown (2005): 22.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 5.0 apg at Kennedy King (Ill.) CC
* Bambale Osby (2006): 6.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg at Paris (Texas) JC
* Tyree Evans (2008): 21.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg at Motlow (Tenn.) CC
Weijs, by the way, averaged 6.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.4 blocks last season.
Those are Osby-like numbers, and at this time four years ago just about everyone thought it was pure folly for Maryland to bring the well-traveled Richmond, Va., native on board. Then Osby became a crucial reserve for a year, a starter the next and a fan favorite the whole time.
The recent JUCO history, in fact, trends toward forwards living up to (or exceeding) expectations and guards either getting caught up in athletic department politics (Evans, who was gone almost before he arrived), auto accidents (Ledbetter) or a lack of use (Brown).
Time will tell whether Weijs can help. But at the least for Maryland fans, he's no more than a two-year gamble, and will at least be a big body that theoretically can stay healthy.
It also leaves Maryland with a theoretical depth chart that looks like this:
Well, something like that, anyway.
In any case, that gives Maryland four scholarships to play with in 2011 (for three seniors and a presumably vacant slot). While Weijs probably isn't the difference between a tournament team and a Final Four contender (there's only so many of those lurking in the JUCO ranks), it's probably best to wait to declare what his eventual impact will be. If he can be a factor in a rotation featuring three already established interior pieces for the Terps, that will probably constitute success.