Maryland's hopes for a big 2nd season under head coach Mark Turgeon took a bit of a hit when Xavier transfer Dez Wells was denied eligibility to play this season. This wasn't totally unexpected, but Wells had been in a unique situation after being dismissed from Xavier prior to a grand jury finding no reason to charge him with anything. That situation created hope amongst the Terrapin faithful that Wells would be cleared. But he wasn't. So, what effect will this have on their season?
The Terps finished 17-15 (6-10) in a weak ACC last year. And then they lost Terrell Stoglin who attempted 38% of the team's shots when he was on the floor (3rd most in the nation). Regardless of the roster, this is a team that will see major changes. Wells, who had a standout freshman season for Xavier, could have immediately stepped in and helped fill that void. An explosive player on the wing, he made 38% of his threes, 54% of his twos, and did an excellent job taking care of the ball.
In his absence, sophomores Alex Len and Nick Faust will need to make the leaps which are expected of them, and point guard Pe'Shon Howard will need to be healthy. Those three and power forward James Padgett will form the backbone of this team, and Wells would have complemented them exactly where they need help.
The trickle down effect will mean more minutes for the freshmen (and transfer Logan Aronhalt), and if they excel this could be a Tournament team. With Wells though, they'd be much more dangerous.
Still, having Dezmine Wells and fellow transfer Evan Smotrycz sitting this season out just means next year looks that much brighter. But the Turgeon rebuild would have gone a lot smoother with a piece like Wells to insert into the lineup.