Seth Allen

Seth Allen

Reports: Former Maryland guard Seth Allen transfers to Virginia Tech

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While the Maryland basketball program is on its way out of the ACC, one of the team’s former players has decided to stick around.

According to multiple outlets (reported first by CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein) guard Seth Allen has decided to transfer to Virginia Tech, where he’ll play for new head coach Buzz Williams. Allen will have two seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2014-15 campaign. As a sophomore Allen, who missed 12 games after suffering a broken bone in his left foot, averaged 13.4 points and 3.0 assists per game for the Terrapins.

Allen becomes the fifth player to commit to Virginia Tech since Williams came aboard back in March, and his addition gives the Hokies some additional depth on the perimeter. Allen played both on and off the ball at Maryland, and with that in mind the question will be how much this affects point guard Devin Wilson when the 2015-16 season arrives. Wilson averaged 9.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game as a freshman, earning ACC All-Freshman Team honors as selected by the media.

Wilson started all 31 games for Virginia Tech last season, and he’ll likely be the starter for the Hokies in 2014-15 as well but there isn’t much in the way of depth at the position.

As for shooting guard Williams will have options, with incoming freshmen Justin Bibbs, Ahmed Hill and Jalen Hudson all joining holdovers Ben Emelogu (10.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg) and Will Johnston (a former walk-on; 3.2 ppg) at the position. And with the graduation of Jarell Eddie it’s likely that a couple of those players will see time at the three in 2014-15.

At the very least Virginia Tech, which won just nine games last season (2-16 ACC), can use additional depth and talent on the perimeter given the fact that they didn’t were lacking in both departments in 2013-14. And when taking those factors into consideration, the addition of Allen is a good one.

Maryland guard Seth Allen to transfer

Seth Allen

With three players having already left the Maryland program, there were rumblings earlier this week that guard Seth Allen was considering a transfer as well. And on Friday afternoon it became official, with Jeff Goodman of reporting the news that Allen will be finishing his career at another school.

“I had a great two years there,” Allen told ESPN. “And I’m thankful for the opportunity, but I also feel as though it’s time for me to move on.”

Initially it was reported by Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post that the decision wasn’t final, with Allen’s mother saying that “nothing’s settled” in regards to her son’s status. However shortly thereafter it was confirmed that Allen had asked for and received his release from Maryland.

Allen was a key player for Maryland last season after missing the first 12 games with a broken foot, averaging 13.4 points and 3.0 assists per game. And even with the pending arrival of highly regarded point guard Romelo Trimble, having Allen back in the fold would have provided Maryland both experience and depth at the point.

Without Allen the Terrapins would enter the Big Ten with four guards: Trimble, fellow freshmen Jared Nickens and Dion Wiley and rising junior Dezmine Wells. With Allen sidelined last season, it was Wells who manned the point at the start with the now-departed Roddy Peters struggling with the responsibilities. But there were times in which Wells struggled with the balance of distributing the basketball and scoring points, with Wells being a bit too deferential in those instances.

With Allen moving on there’s even more pressure on the Maryland backcourt and on head coach Mark Turgeon as well, with the Terrapins still looking for their first NCAA tournament appearance under his watch.

Maryland’s competing now, but issues at the point keep popping up

Maryland v Duke
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Maryland was in danger of missing the NCAA tournament before Monday night’s visit from No. 4 Syracuse, and while their 57-55 loss doesn’t really damage an already weak profile, what it does is take away yet another opportunity to make themselves look better in the eyes of the committee.

The Terps have now lost three of their last four games and four of their last six. All four of those losses have come against teams currently ranked in the top 25. These last three weeks were Maryland’s chance to make themselves relevant once again, and they couldn’t capitalize on it.

And here’s the frustrating part: Maryland’s gotten better. They’re not a bad basketball team. They lost to Syracuse by two points in a game where Seth Allen had a shot to win at the buzzer. They lost to Duke at Cameron in a game where Charles Mitchell’s go-ahead layup rolled off the rim with less than 10 seconds left. They lost at Virginia by eight. They lost at North Carolina by 12.

This is a team that can hang with the ACC’s big dogs at home or on the road.

They’re just not good enough to beat them yet.

It will be interesting to see if that changes in the coming years.

Mark Turgeon has stockpiled quite a bit of talent in College Park, and he’s got another excellent recruiting class coming in next season. The key, however, is going to end up being point guard Romelo Trimble, because for two years now, the Terps have lacked a leader at that position.

I like Allen. I like him a lot. But I like him as a change-of-pace sparkplug off the bench. He’s a shooter and a scorer that is capable of doing things like putting up 22 points on the Orange. He was 6-for-9 from three point range. He also had five turnovers and no assists.

As a point guard.

You don’t have to be a basketball-savant to see the issue there.

The bottom-line is this: Roddy Peters is a playmaker, but he’s not yet ready to be a full-time point guard and I’m not sure if he will ever be. Dez Wells is at his best when he’s able to be a slasher from the wing, a guy attacking the paint and using his physical tools to draw fouls and finish around the bucket. Nick Faust isn’t a point guard, either. Throw in Allen, and that’s a talented back court. Then toss in a front line that includes Charles Mitchell, Evan Smotrcyz, Jake Layman, Damonte Dodd and Shaq Cleare, and you’re looking at a Maryland with some promising pieces.

But they’re missing a player someone that can run an offense and get the ball in the hands of their talent in a position that they can score.

And if Trimble isn’t that guy next season, I’m not sure if things will change for Maryland.

Maryland point guard Seth Allen cleared to play after foot injury

Seth Allen
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Maryland and head coach Mark Turgeon received some encouraging news over the weekend as it was reported by CSN Baltimore’s Daniel Martin that point guard Seth Allen has been cleared to play by doctors and has returned to practice on Friday and Saturday as the Terrapins prepare for a Sunday contest against Tulsa.

Allen had surgery last month to repair a broken bone in his left foot and was expected to miss anywhere between eight and ten weeks. As Martin noted in his story, Thursday marked eight weeks for Allen and now the Terrapins hope that the return of their sophomore floor general can help stabilize the position.

In Allen’s absence, Maryland has experimented at point guard with freshman Roddy Peters, as well as guys like Dez Wells and Nick Faust playing out of position to mixed results. Maryland is 218th in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio as they’ve struggled to a 7-5 start.

“The whole thing is the doctor said, ‘It’s healed, he’s free to go,’” Turgeon said to the media on Saturday. “To me it’s either broke or it’s not broke. Well, it’s not broke anymore.”

“He’s favoring it a little bit, but didn’t have any pain, which is good. We’re just taking it one day at a time to see what we can get out of him … We’ll see how he reacts.”

Maryland will likely bring Allen along slowly, as he gets back into shape and adjusts to game speed.

“It’ll be a process,” Turgeon said. “I don’t think we can expect [Allen] to play a lot of minutes tomorrow night and be fantastic. If he’s not sore and everything goes good, we’ll try to give him a few minutes each half and then just go from there.”

Recovery remains on track for Maryland point guard Seth Allen

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Through ten games the Maryland Terrapins have turned the ball over on nearly 20% of their possessions, but in their 66-62 win over Florida Atlantic on Saturday afternoon Mark Turgeon’s squad finished with just nine turnovers. Freshman Roddy Peters (five assists, three turnovers) has become more comfortable as the starting point guard, and both Nick Faust (five assists, two turnovers) and Evan Smotrycz (four assists, one turnover) were effective distributors against the Owls as well.

But there’s still a piece missing, and that is sophomore Seth Allen. Allen averaged 7.8 points and 2.3 assists per game as a freshman, and he was expected to be the one running the show when practice began. But Allen broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot during a practice, meaning that the Terrapins would be without him for 8-10 weeks.

On Saturday Turgeon stated that Allen, who is six weeks into his rehab process, remains on track for a return when Maryland dives back into ACC play according to Daniel Martin of CSN Baltimore.

Allen, who has been out since early November after undergoing surgery to repair a broken foot, underwent an X-ray on Thursday to assess his progress. Coach Mark Turgeon said on Friday that the timeline for his return remains the same as what it was when the procedure took place.

That’s good news for Maryland, which can certainly use some additional depth at the point. In addition to Peters the Terrapins started Dez Wells at the point and have even used Varun Ram in spot duty at the position. And when under control, Faust can help them in the distribution department as well. But Allen’s presence gives Maryland a player whose primary skill is that of a distributor.

If the Terrapins are to make a run at an NCAA tournament bid in their final season as a member of the ACC, they’ll need Allen to be back at full strength when he returns to the court.

Maryland’s Dez Wells grabs the reins in Seth Allen’s absence

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When it was announced earlier this week that Maryland sophomore point guard Seth Allen would miss eight to ten weeks after breaking the fifth metatarsal in his left foot, many wondered where head coach Mark Turgeon would turn in his search for a replacement. The general expectation was that highly regarded freshman Roddy Peters was next in line, despite the fact that in team scrimmages he experienced some of the struggles that most freshmen tend to go through.

Ultimately there wasn’t much deliberation on the part of Turgeon and his staff; if anything it can be said that the decision was made for them by junior Dez Wells according to Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post.

“’I’m the point guard,’” forward Charles Mitchell recalled Wells barking. “’This is me now. Just follow me. I’m going to be your leader.’”

Despite being a newcomer himself last season Wells was looked to as a leader by his teammates in 2012-13, as he averaged 13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game after transferring in from Xavier. The assist total ranked second on the team behind the now-departed Pe’Shon Howard (he’s at USC), and for players who accounted for at least 24% of his team’s possessions Wells ranked sixth in the ACC in offensive rating according to

So with his teammates looking to him for leadership, and Wells’ acceptance of that role, it makes sense that he would take on the point guard responsibilities when Maryland plays its exhibition game against Catholic University on Sunday. But there are areas in which Wells needs to improve, such as turnovers.

In an area that proved to be problematic for the entire team last season (Maryland ranked 8th in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio), Wells finished with just four fewer turnovers (109) than he had assists (113). And that fact hasn’t escaped Wells as he looks to improve his production in 2013-14.

The simplified offense – Turgeon wouldn’t get into specifics – should help Wells curb the turnover issues that plagued him last season. Besides, Wells hates watching film of his successes, of which there were plenty. He studies only the failures, like many of his 109 giveaways.

Regardless of where he plays on the floor, the better Wells is as a player the better Maryland will be as a team. And if it so happens that Maryland’s best shot at early-season success is to have Wells in the role of primary ball-handler, it’s hard to believe that anyone would have a serious problem with that.