Yes, there was a basketball game last night. Maryland beat a pesky North Florida bunch 85-62 at Comcast Center in a game that goes down as a W for the Terps (9-4) and not really a whole lot else.
Now, they get one game in the next 10 days before a trip to top-ranked Duke. Needless to say, this stretch of the season isn't exactly advancing the storyline a whole lot.
One tidbit did finally get unfurled last night. Freshman Ashton Pankey is returning home and will undergo season-ending surgery on his left leg. The procedure will correct a stress fracture that prevented him from playing as a high school senior.
Pankey made a cameo in Maryland's season opener against Seattle, but has not played since. He will be eligible for a medical hardship, one likely to be granted based on the NCAA's history.
At the same time, this is a guy who has lost almost two full seasons to injuries. It's not too soon to wonder if Maryland has uncovered the second coming of former forward Jerome Burney, a big man with a great deal of athleticism whose body simply betrayed him.
Maryland coach Gary Williams is fond of saying players' long-term growth shouldn't be judged based exclusively on a freshman season. He's had plenty of guys who developed later in their careers who back up his point.
But there should be an injury exception to that philosophy as well. This ground was covered with Burney: There isn't a better predictor of injury than past injuries.
As a result there's a real chance, regardless of talent and potential, Maryland finds that out another time or two with Pankey in the next couple years. Perhaps Pankey comes back and logs four solid seasons; that's a possibility as well. But no one should be surprised if he doesn't, through absolutely no fault of his own.