COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WUSA) - A week after his team lost in the NIT Final Four, Maryland point guard Pe'Shon Howard announced he is transferring from the school.
In a press release, the junior said that his grandmother was ill in California and that he would like to finish his final season of eligibility playing closer to home.
Howard was going to be the longest tenured Terp on the roster this off-season and with his departure, Maryland no longer has a player left over from the Gary Williams regime. Head coach Mark Turgeon has been chasing top of the line talent for the program, like the Harrison Twins and freshman forward Shaq Cleare, and I'm sure this also factored in to Howard's decision to leave.
Maryland only has two incoming freshmen this summer, but one of them is star point guard Roddy Peters from Suitland High School. Peters is considered one of top point guards in this year's class and he is expected to demand immediate minutes. I didn't expect Howard to get many minutes, if any, had he stayed with the Terps.
There are too many players who can run the point, stay on the court, and provide more effective minutes than the junior. Seth Allen, Nick Faust, and Dez Wells have all played point at some point this past season and are not the scoring liability Howard is.
Howard's career began with a spark, but injuries have contributed with a decline in numbers. As a freshman, he averaged 5.4 points and 3.2 assists, while shooting 42% from the field. He averaged 6.5 points per game a year later, but shot a terrible field goal percentage of 37%. This past season, he basically paved the way for Peters recruitment when he only made 29% of his shots.
What the Terps will miss from Howard is his leadership and defensive presence on the court. Despite his poor shooting, he still led the team in assists the past two years and was clearly the best floor-general on the team. It's why Turgeon continued to play the LA native. That's something the incoming freshman Peters will have to learn quickly to keep the Terps moving forward.