Mark Turgeon and the Maryland Terrapins received great news on Wednesday when the NCAA approved the appeal of sophomore Dez Wells. By winning the appeal, Wells will be eligible to play for the Terps this season.
Wells, a 6-5 swingman, was dismissed from Xavier after being charged with sexual assault. After the charges were rejected by a grand jury, Wells transfered to Maryland and was seeking to play immediately. However, the NCAA denied his initial request to play in 2012-13.
By all accounts, Wells has been Turgeon’s best player during practice and in scrimmages. An Atlantic-10 All Freshman team selection, Wells is a strong, versatile performer who should start for Maryland.
After going 17-15 in his first season in College Park, Turgeon has upgraded his talent. His freshman class was rated in the Top 20 by recruiting experts like Dave Telep of ESPN.
In the frontcourt, Shaq Cleare, Charles Mitchell and Jake Layman join holdovers Alex Len and James Padgett. At 7’1, Len is considered by ESPN’s Chad Ford as a possible first-round NBA draft pick in 2013.
In the backcourt, athletic Seth Allen and Albany transfer Logan Aronhalt will work with 2012 All-ACC freshman pick Nick Faust and vet PG Pe’Shon Howard. Howard is coming back from knee surgery.
The season begins Friday night against defending the NCAA champion Kentucky Wildcats up in Brooklyn.
Turgeon’s Terps were picked to finish sixth by the ACC media a couple of weeks ago.
I have been saying for months that Maryland would be an NCAA tournament team this season. With Wells, not only will they go “dancing”, they might stay for a while.
Get ready to jump on the bandwagon.