The Maryland Terrapins have just improved significantly from the addition of one player. Dez Wells has had his appeal approved by a subcommittee of the NCAA, and where it looked like he would miss his first season with Maryland, he is now permitted to compete in the 2012-13 season. This is big news for the Terrapins who now have the flexibility to start Wells on the wing and bring senior guard Logan Aronault off the bench.
This helps the Terps at point guard where they are lacking depth, for Aronault can be used to play some minutes at the point if freshman Seth Allen needs time to develop. Wells, who averaged 9.8 point per game in his freshman season for Xavier, was expelled for sexual assault charges that were eventually thrown out by a grand jury, and consequently he transferred to Maryland. His original request for eligibility was denied, but he then filed the appealed that was just approved.
Maryland’s starting lineup will now be sophomore Alex Len, a 7-footer, at center, senior James Padgett at power forward, sophomore Nick Faust at small forward, sophomore Wells at shooting guard, and junior Pe’Shon Howard running the point. Maryland will also have some depth with Aronault and Allen, as well as freshmen forwards Shaquille Cleare and Jake Layman.
The Terps now have two go-to scoring options on the perimeter instead of just one, which makes all the difference in the world when playing solid defensive squads. Maryland was expected to finish sixth in the ACC this season before Wells was cleared for play, but now they have the ability to move up to fourth in the conference.
I have Maryland in front of Florida St. and only behind N.C. State, North Carolina, and Duke in the conference. In the ACC tournament they could sneak up and surprise a superior team. This team’s success depends largely on the performances of wing players Wells and Faust, who could break out and become an ACC star, and also the post defense and rebounding of Len. Expect to see the Terrapins in the NCAA tournament this year, and if the young pieces mesh together and produce, they will win games in March.