To add to the Maryland Terrapins' misfortunes after losing at home to No. 16 Michigan on Thursday night, they have now learned they will be without their senior leader for the next couple of weeks.
Darryl Morsell, a senior out of Baltimore who is the only four-year player currently on the roster, was driving to the basket against the Wolverines late in the first half when a stray elbow in the paint smacked him in the face.
Morsell recoiled and had to leave the game, sporting a concerning, sizable dent in his upper cheek near his left eye. Team doctors examined him on the sideline, where Morsell appeared to be visibly upset at the notion of not returning to the game. Maryland officially ruled him out at halftime, and he was taken to a Baltimore trauma center on Thursday night.
On Friday morning, Morsell underwent surgery to repair a fractured bone in his face. The school announced later in the afternoon that he would be expected to miss 1-2 weeks before returning.
First and foremost, hopefully, Morsell is feeling better soon. From Maryland's perspective, head coach Turgeon felt everything in Thursday's game changed once he lost his senior wing and, after keeping it close through the first 20 minutes, Maryland was blown out in the second half.
Morsell plays at perhaps the Terps' deepest position, but the team overall lacks quality depth. The players who had to fill in for Morsell were clearly tired by the end of the game, including Donta Scott who played all 40 minutes.
Morsell is a tough, physical player who will no doubt be itching to get back on the court as soon as possible. But as Maryland continues a brutal stretch of games, they'll have to get even more creative in playing without him.
Maryland has insisted that four-star recruit James Graham, a borderline top-50 player who graduated high school early and joined the team a few days after Christmas, is not going to play anytime soon, if at all this season. But perhaps Morsell's injury changes the equation and Turgeon is forced to adjust. The Terps play three difficult games in the next nine days, including two against top-15 teams in the country, and Graham could be a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency scoring option off the bench.