Maryland forward Hauk Palsson is expected to leave the program to pursue a professional career in Europe, a source familiar with the situation said Monday, leaving the short-handed Terrapins even thinner than anticipated entering coach Mark Turgeon‘s first season.
(UPDATE, 10 p.m.: Maryland announces Palsson is leaving the program)
Palsson’s departure leaves Maryland with eight scholarship players. The NCAA maximum is 13, with most schools at or near that total each season.
The source said Palsson weighed the move even before he averaged 22.7 points and 10.0 rebounds for Iceland in the under-20 European championships in Sarajevo last month.
A team spokesman had no comment when asked about Palsson’s status with the program.
The 6-foot-6, 190-pounder averaged 2.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 10.1 minutes as a freshman. He played in all but one game as Maryland went 19-14 last season. Palsson made three starts (including both of the Terps’ ACC tournament contests) and also scored a career-best 13 points against Longwood on Feb. 9.
Palsson, who split time at the three and the four as a freshman under now-retired coach Gary Williams, was likely to factor prominently into Maryland’s plans this season as an undersized power forward.
Without him, the Terps could be nudged into a lineup that includes two of their three relatively untested big men: Junior James Padgett, redshirt freshman Ashton Pankey and senior Berend Weijs.
An alternate scenario is to embrace a four-guard lineup featuring some combination of established options Pe’Shon Howard, Sean Mosley and Terrell Stoglin, seldom-used sophomore Mychal Parker and freshman Nick Faust.
—- Patrick Stevens