Varun Ram was an afterthought on the bench last season to most. The 5-foot-9 guard had to sit out all of last season after transferring from Division III Trinity College.
He is no afterthought this season and has been giving Maryland big minutes off the bench throughout this season. He is currently averaging around 10 minutes per game and averaging 0.9 points per game in those minutes. However, his impact cannot be measured by a box score.
I am not sure even Ram knew he would being seeing these kind of minutes this season, but when Seth Allen went down with a foot injury, Ram was the next man up on a team that already lacked guard depth.
Coach Mark Turgeon obviously liked what he saw in Ram because he threw him in against one of the best backcourts in the nation in the first game of the season against Connecticut. He did not look out of his place against Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright. When you look comfortable against those guys, you should be fine against most other guards in the country.
That, he has.
He has seen his role increase more and more after that first game. He is giving the Terps key minutes. When he is entered into the game, he brings a level of energy that his teammates seem to feed off of. Ram takes charges, dives for loose balls, and annoys opposing guards to no end.
He is by no means going to have a 20-point game this year or play 30 minutes a night. But the 10 minutes he plays each game can be crucial. He can change the momentum of the game by taking a timely charge or using his quickness to harass opposing guards and get key stops.
Maryland fans overlooked Ram last year and now opponents are, but they should not because he has the ability make a difference in the 10 minutes he plays a game.