Maryland guard Pe'Shon Howard will transfer to be closer to his ailing grandmother in California, the school said Monday.
Thus endeth an interesting three-year ride for Howard, whose career had a little bit of everything --- multiple injuries, a game-winning shot just two contests into his career, a one-game suspension for one of Maryland's most riveting victories this season, and a generally bizarre arc to his junior season.
So, in Q&A form, here's what to take away from today's development.
* Is this an unexpected development?
Certainly more unexpected than if it happened six weeks ago.
In February, when his minutes were down and his effectiveness had vanished, it was tough figuring out just what sort of role he was going to fill moving forward.
Yet after March 1, Howard averaged 3.8 points, 3.0 assists and 1.5 turnovers. He played more-than-credible defense throughout the ACC tournament and the NIT. He had a fabulous distributing day against Duke in the ACC quarterfinals.
So, no, this wasn't something that could be seen coming based on how things unfolded of late.
* So where does Howard go and when does he become eligible?
Presumably he heads west. The Los Angeles native has one year of eligibility remaining, and it isn't difficult to surmise he will attempt to secure a waiver to become immediately eligible rather than sit out a season.
* With Howard gone, who plays point guard for Maryland next season?
Despite his struggles, Howard was the Terrapins' best option at point guard at season's end.
Seth Allen was hurt, and before that erratic. Nick Faust, much as he might like to be, isn't a smooth point guard. Dez Wells is an occasional change-of-pace guy (emphasis on occasional) to bring the ball up the floor, but is usually best served on the wing.
Then there's Roddy Peters, Maryland's lone backcourt signee (for now) in the class of 2013.
Strictly guessing, there will be a great onus on Allen (once his broken hand heals) to figure out how to play more under control. Banking on a freshman to step in seamlessly at the point probably isn't the wisest plan. There's also the chance Maryland goes for a rent-a-point guard and finds a transfer who can become eligible immediately (a la Logan Aronhalt's move from Albany before last season).
* So how much will Maryland miss Howard?
Probably a fair bit on defense. His departure does take away the Terps' most predictable option at point guard. Granted, he wasn't going to be a major offensive threat; he scored more than eight points only once all season. But he possessed more utility than a lot of people gave him credit for.
The cop-out answer --- and the correct one, for now --- is dependent upon how Allen, Peters and a potential Unknown Offseason Addition combine to run Maryland's offense. Point guard was a constant problem for Mark Turgeon's team, and it stands to reason fixing issue was already going to be an offseason priority. It becomes a greater one with one less in-house option to work with.
* Does Maryland have room to add another scholarship player?
Howard's departure means no more than 12 of the team's 13 scholarships for next season are accounted for --- and that figure is based on everyone on scholarship besides Howard returning for next season. Considering Alex Len's looming NBA decision, another spot could certainly open up.
* So how do Howard's final career numbers compare to other former Maryland players?
Here's a quick rundown:
* 387 points --- Nine fewer than Dave Neal.
* 195 rebounds --- Three more than Dutch Morley.
* 289 assists --- Three more than Adrian Bowie and three fewer than Adrian Branch.
* 162 turnovers --- Three fewer than Mike Jones.
* 62 steals --- Two fewer than both Byron Mouton and Rodney Elliott.
* 1,894 minutes --- Four more than Jordan Williams and one fewer than Jerrod Mustaf (both of whom played two seasons)
--- Patrick Stevens