In their final season as a member of the ACC, Maryland struggled with consistency as they fell short of a spot in the NCAA tournament. The offseason was by no means smooth, with the arrival of a very good crop of freshmen being offset by player departures that may ultimately benefit all parties in the future. With a new season in a new conference (Big Ten) right around the corner, Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon is hopeful that his team can snap Maryland’s NCAA tournament drought.
Maryland has a number of options on the perimeter, with that resulting in the Terrapins changing things up offensively in order to properly take advantage of those weapons. The combination of perimeter weapons and experience, with Maryland having four seniors in the rotation, will be key for Maryland as they get acclimated to their new conference. Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun wrote about the team’s experience in the article linked above.
The team’s leading scorer in each of his first two seasons at Maryland, Wells is expected to be one of the top players in the Big Ten. But he should have help from fellow seniors Evan Smotrycz, Jon Graham (Calvert Hall) and transfer Richaud Pack in guiding a team that welcomed a recruiting class that, with Reed, was considered a top-10 group.
“It’s huge,” Turgeon said of his team’s large senior class. “We haven’t had it. Sean Mosley started the first year as a senior [in 2011-12], and a bunch of seniors came off the bench. Then we had Padge [James Padgett] and Logan [Aronhalt] coming off the bench [in 2012-13], and last year, we had no seniors on scholarship. It’s big for us.”
The biggest change for Maryland is the arrival of Romelo Trimble, a gifted point guard who will be handed the key from the moment Maryland starts practice if that hasn’t occurred already. Stability at the point was something the Terrapins lacked in 2013-14, even with Seth Allen (now at Virginia Tech) returning from a foot injury to average 13.4 points and 3.0 assists per game.
If Trimble can hit the ground running, Maryland should reap the rewards offensively. The Terrapins will be tested in the Big Ten, but the feeling is that with improvement on both ends of the floor they’ll be able to earn their first trip to the NCAA tournament since 2010.
Over the weekend there was the possibility of Maryland making an addition to its 2014 recruiting class, with three-star point guard John Crosby making a visit to the College Park campus. However Crosby’s visit didn’t lead to a change in his plans, as it was reported Sunday via Twitter by Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun that the Baltimore Poly product will attend New Hampton Prep this school year.
Maryland already has a high-level point guard in freshman Romelo Trimble, but a change of heart from Crosby would have given head coach Mark Turgeon some additional depth at the position. As it currently stands Trimble will be asked to shoulder the load, something that was expected to be the case when he committed to the Big Ten school, with senior Dez Wells being the likely option to run the point when Trimble needs a rest.
Wells did pick up some experience at the point guard position last season with Seth Allen sidelined with a broken foot and then-freshman Roddy Peters still getting acclimated to the college game at that time (both Allen and Peters have since transferred). Wells finished the season averaging 2.2 assists per game (second on the team) to go along with his team-best 14.9 ppg. And in the 12 games the Terrapins played without Allen, Wells accounted for 25 assists and 31 turnovers.
Provided Trimble’s capable of taking the reins (and the early expectation is that he’ll be able to) Maryland will be in a better spot at the point in 2014-15 than they were last season. Adding Crosby to the fold would have given Maryland another primary ball-handler, providing depth at a position that could have used the boost.
Among Crosby’s other offers picked up were Rutgers and George Mason.