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Some thoughts on Haukur Palsson

Late last week, Maryland picked up a verbal commitment from Haukur Palsson, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound small forward from Montverde Academy in Florida. Palsson will join a 2010 Maryland recruting class that includes point guard Terrell Stoglin, point guard Pe'Shon Howard, small forward Mychal Parker and power forward Ashton Pankey.

According to national recruiting director Dave Telep, Palsson is aggressive and possesses a solid mid-range game. Telep said Palsson, a native of Iceland, had "that European feel to him" and noted that the player could improve on his foot speed.

"He seemed to me to be an intelligent player," Telep said. "He shot the ball with some confidence and had good rotation on it. I thought he probably would be a small forward. I thought he was a confident guy with some skill to him as far as the perimeter play."

Telep pointed out that all of the players Maryland has assembled in its 2010 recruiting class are armed with different styles of play. For instance, Stoglin is a score-first lead guard, while Howard is at his best when he's distributing the ball, Telep said. He noted that both Stoglin and Howard should be physically ready as freshman to "come in and help out."

Likewise, Palsson and Parker will provide varied talents as well.

Palsson is "probably a little bit different than all those guys in that you would say that if he and Parker were brought in to play the same position, Parker would be the athlete and Palsson would be the thinking-man’s small forward," Telep said.

One advantage Telep felt Palsson had was that he's played under Montverde Coach Kevin Sutton, who formerly coached at Montrose Christian and Bishop McNamara. Telep said Sutton's practices closely resemble those carried out at the college level. Sutton also has served as an assistant at Old Dominion and James Madison.

"The thing about guys from Monteverde is that Kevin Sutton does such a good job getting them college-ready that they’re learning curve is reduced," Telep said. "Their drills, their practices at Montverde are structured in a way to mimic a college setting. So a guy like Haukur Palsson – while he may not be the prospect a guy like Mychal Parker is – his learning curve is going to be shorter because of the preparation that he’s been given by his head coach in high school."

By Steve Yanda  |  March 10, 2010; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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the Iceman, I bet he is quite the fisherman too

Posted by: jpfterps | March 10, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Should we really be excited about a guy who is playing "6th man" on his high school team?

Posted by: petecard | March 6, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Read the Terrapin Times Petecard. Yes, we should be excited about Hawk (his nickname in Florida). From what I remember he's a 4.0 student who speaks 3 languages fluently, a kid who is considered very coachable (great fit for Gary) and the only reason he didn't start is because he came to this program late vs the other kids who start ahead of them have been there all 4 years.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 10, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Good class shaping up. Ca't remember the details, but they still somehow have a scholarship to give in case they can land another (hopefully big man) recruit. Nice that we have two 3 who hopefully will have the opportunity to play 3 coming in. Would hate to see these guys stuck playing 4 with the likes of JP and DG and Ashton Pankey on the team. With JW that hits my magic of four effective bigs. And my man-crush Goins could continue his torrid pace of 4 minutes played per season....

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | March 10, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

You can cut and paste this in about 4 years when I'm dead wrong (as I have been predicting other players at UMD)....I think he pans out as a role player (meaning 8th or 9th man off the bench) as his career peak. Something about him just screams "transfer to Loyola". I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: fushezzi | March 10, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Nice point Fushezzi -

A recruiting class of 5 is likely to have at least one transfer out. The thing with this kid is - if he can't play - he'll want to graduate and will contribute in practice. So I don't think he'll transfer out per se, but one of the others might. And this is a kid who won't sneeze at a career in Europe where MD basketball is huge. Kinda like a Grinnon.

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | March 10, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Fushezzi, how dare you speak about any Terp player (past, present, or future) in a negative manner. The Terps don't need fans like you!!!!!!!!!!!


Don't worry in a few months I'll copy/paste that quote of your ad nauseum just to show you that I'm the best Terps fan ever.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 10, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

C'mon ya'll where's the excitement for this kid.

He's the next Jewish Jordan.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 10, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

PG - Terrell Stoglin - Excitement
PG - Pe'Shon Howard - Excitement
SF - Mychal Parker - Excitement
PF - Ashton Pankey - Excitement
SF - Haukur Palsson - Potential Sleeper with great grades.

Now the Jewish Jordan never played against real competition. GW took him in b/c he was local and it seemed GW had scholarships to give at the time. Palsson has played against real competition so we should be ok with him. 13 sholarships + walk-ons needs to yield 8 or 9 contributors. We have cornerstones JW and SM for a few years with JP likely to mature into a cornerstone. Another year of key players AB, CT, DG as the freshmen integrate into the program. oh yeah, and up to TWO more years of Steve Goins. Not all of the freshmen are going to contribute right away, and since we have two PGs coming in and two SFs, we may see a transfer out. Just don't think it will be Ice Ice Baby to go.

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | March 10, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Poopy_McPoop would be a lot more bearable if he didn't try so hard to be funny when he just isn't. Jewish Jordan? HA HA, man that is just so funny. You are just so creative Poopy.

I love how he can't stand the fact that his old attacks against Gary got copy/pasted on here yesterday. It must really get under your skin Poopy because you REALLY look like an idiot now that Gary is coach of the year. Still think he should be fired? Hahaha!


Posted by: jmiller381 | March 10, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Can you retell the story of when you made a snowman with a boner outside your dorm? Hilarious.

Posted by: aviscardo | March 10, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse


That really was a great story. I would enjoy a repost of that too.

Posted by: fushezzi | March 10, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

No snowman boner stories, I think aviscardo was kidding.

At first glance this dude does scream Loyola, but I bet GW has something up his sleeve. My guess is Iceman is a good shooter who can become a dead-eye. I also was relieved when I read two of the dudes starting on this team are going to Marquette and Villanova.

Posted by: jpfterps | March 10, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Actually Jmiller381 if you followed Terps Basketball you'd recall former, prospective student/athlete Tamir Goodman, who was considering coming to UMD back around 1999. He decided against it because UMD couldn't meet his religious standards so he went to Towson.

His nickname happened to be the Jewish Jordan. So it's not like I made anything up.

Better luck trying to "slam" me next time.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 10, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

"they’re learning curve is reduced."

How many errors can a world-class paper allow before they're not world-class anymore? Ugh.

Posted by: random-adam | March 10, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Garo is excited about Hawk. That about says it all. He's so smart he won't have to study. What a find. Can't wait. I hear that Mike and Roy are sick that they lost him, not to even mention Self, Calipari, Boeheim, and all the other top programs.

I'm not excited. But I am hopeful and I will root for him to be successful.

Posted by: petecard | March 10, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I was thinking the same thing, random.

How good Hugh-ker turns out to be is impossible to guess at this point. Probably at least a solid 8th/9th man by his upperclassman days. But I doubt he ever transfers, even if he isn't getting much PT. He really wants to work his tail off and have a pro career in Europe. I thinks it is likely he chose Maryland because in addition to solid academics he thinks Gary is his best option to guide his development over four years to maximize his chances to have that pro career.

If he has to just keep working and working until his senior year to get substantial PT then he will do just that. If PT was his priority I think he would have just gone to Harvard. Having Harvard as an option and still choosing Maryland shows clearly that even though he is a very smart guy, basketball is his top priority.

I think we can safely say that Gary has shown over the years he likes to have at least one "atypical" guy of some sort on the team at just about all times. It seems to add some kind of chemistry element that he just seems to like.

FWIW, I spent three days in Iceland in 1985. a) it isn't really cold there. The Gulf Stream seriously modulates the climate. b) very high quality people. And the whole place is only around 300,000, so it's pretty tight-knit. c)basically everyone's name ends in -son or -dottir, it just how they do it. d)Cod, lamb and awesome water-repellent long-strand wool clothing: In '85 at least, those were pretty much the pillars of the economy. e) sweet hot springs. Geothermal energy is in effect there for real.

Posted by: jake177 | March 10, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Tamir Goodman - One of the many M recruits who ended up at Loyola. Set HS scoring records and GW extended a scholarship even though his religious views would not allow him to play on Saturdays (I respect GW for taking that risk). I thought he enrolled in CP and almost immediately recognized (himself) that he had no game. I remember seeing an article a few years after he transferred where he said great things about GW - especially since GW worked the phones with the NCAA to make sure he would not lose any eligibility. His career at Towson was forgettable. I always felt that GW looks at at least one of his scholarships as a bit expendable - either for a walk-on who will never play or for a community relations story (like Goodman). I remember that when asked about Goodman, he mentioned that he thought it would be beneficial for his players (and himself) to be exposed to the different walk of life (hasidism) up close. Its not like UNC or GT or Gtown were offering the kid a scholarship - as I recall MD was his only major college option. And from GW's persepctive, the kid would have been a lock to graduate.

Do not think the Hawk is in the same boat. I think its more frustrating when we have an Andre Collins (passable ACC PG), Hasan Fofana (bricks for hands but great size and speed), or Braxton Dupree transfer out because the lacked either skill or playing time. Collins leaving still bothers me - if he had stuck around, he would have outlasted Gilchrist and the '05 team would have at least had an experienced PG. And he hit the last shot at Cole and was a link to the NC team. and Gw has had success with smaller PGs at his previous stops.

Like next year's recruiting class, at least it has one big, but a traditional 5 would be icing on the cake.

Regards -


Posted by: HughGRection | March 11, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

When I said Loyola for Goodman, I meant Towson. Apologies.


Posted by: HughGRection | March 11, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Therehas to be a joke somewhere about Jewish Jordan going to Loyola Catholic, but I will leave that for a different venue.

Posted by: jpfterps | March 11, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

He decided against it because UMD couldn't meet his religious standards so he went to Towson.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 10, 2010 8:41 PM | Report abuse

That was the official reason given, but he decided against MD because Gary had a frank talk with him letting him know he wouldn't get much PT at Maryland, and so he decided to go somewhere where he could play. He went to Towson then tried to get the coach there fired bc of a locker room incident. He failed, and so he left the team.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 11, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I was kidding. That was the worst story I've ever heard in my life.

Posted by: aviscardo | March 12, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Hope I'm not too late to weigh in but trust GW to have a role in mind for this guy. We need this type of player to beat Duke - remember Danny Miller anyone? We can't beat Duke with just athletes, need smart players and better 3 pt shooters. JW and SM are both smart players, Stoggins and at least 1 other freshman will contribute next year so Terps will stay in top half of ACC. After watching Dave Neal last year I say welcome to CP Hawk, thanks to GW & GV, and GO TERPS!

Posted by: terpZZ | March 15, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

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