Xavier transfer Dez Wells has been granted an eligibility waiver and can play right away at Maryland, the school announced Wednesday.
Wells, who averaged 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for Xavier last season, was expelled from the school for violating the student code of conduct. The highly contentious decision was later called “fundamentally unfair” and “deeply flawed” by an Ohio prosecutor.
The highly publicized recruitment that followed his expulsion ultimately landed him at Maryland with head coach Mark Turgeon, who from the start pushed a request for a waiver that would allow Wells to play right away.
The granting of that waiver Wednesday by the NCAA sets a new precedent in the parameters that allow one to play immediately at a new institution, the merits of which will likely be debated in the days to come.
Wells now likely becomes a starter for a Maryland team that was picked to finish sixth in the ACC in this year’s conference coaches’ poll. The team loses leading scorer Terrell Stoglin from last season, but brings in a strong recruiting class that includes big man Shaquille Cleare and forward Jake Layman.
The Terrapins open their season Friday against Kentucky at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., a game for which Wells will be eligible.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_
Friday afternoon the field for the 2016 AdvoCare Invitational in Orlando was announced, with Puerto Rico Tip-Off champion Miami being one of the eight teams involved.
Joining Jim Larrañaga’s Hurricanes in Orlando will be Florida, Gonzaga, Indiana State, Iowa State, Quinnipiac, Seton Hall and Stanford. Gonzaga has won the event in each of its prior two appearances, doing so in 2008 and 2012.
Each of the other seven teams will be making their first appearance at the AdvoCare Invitational.
Another in-season tournament field for next season was revealed, as the DirecTV Wooden Legacy announced the eight teams that will make the trip to Fullerton, California.
UCLA, which was led to ten national titles by the event’s namesake, will take part as well CSUN, Dayton, Nebraska, New Mexico, Portland, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech. Six of the eight teams have made prior appearances in the event, with Dayton and Nebraska being the two programs who will make their DirecTV Wooden Legacy debuts next season.
Portland and Virginia Tech reached the title game in their prior appearances, with the Pilots losing to West Virginia in 2009 and the Hokies falling to UNLV in 2010.