( #32, 6'5", 215, guard/forward)
Dez Wells arrived at Maryland in 2012, following an unfortunate expulsion by his previous school, Xavier, which he is now suing as a result. Wells, despite being just a sophomore at the time and having just arrived on campus, immediately took to a leadership role, which he's carried forward through last season.
He's led the team in scoring during his two years in College Park, has become the face of the team in the process, and is poised for a big senior year during Maryland's inaugural B1G season.
For the second season in a row, Wells led the Terps in points per game at 14.9. Discounting John Auslander's 100% free throw performance on two attempts, Wells led the Terps from the line, making 81% of his attempts from the charity stripe. He tied Jake Layman for the most blocks per game on the team, was second on the team in both steals and assists per game, and was forth in rebounding.
Only Jake Layman played more minutes per game than Wells (31.8 vs. 30.6). And when Wells was on the court, he was involved in the play 25% of the time, leading the team in that category. Wells' offensive rating was third on the team, just behind Seth Allen and Jake Layman. But his true shooting percentage, which incorporated his shooting percentage at the free throw line to his three point and two point percentage, was first on the team at 58.4%.
While Wells did improve in several aspects of his game, he did regress in both his two point and three point shooting percentages. During his freshman year at Xavier, Wells shot 37.7% from beyond the arc. During his sophomore year at Maryland, he hit just 33.3% of his long range shots. Last year, he had a career low 30.4%. His overall field goal percentage was also a career low, at 48.1%, which regressed from last season when he shot a career best 52.6% from the floor.
In a January 29th game at home against Miami, Wells was perfect from the field, going 7/7 from the floor, including 1/1 from beyond the arc, and made all six of his free throw attempts, finishing with 21 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. He also scored 33 points and grabbed five rebounds in a win against Boston College in December.
Of course, there was also this, and several others like it...
Scoring just five points in a blow out loss to Pitt on the road in early January. Wells also did not start against Virginia Tech in February because he was late to a team activity.
Dez Wells should have a solid senior season, likely increasing his production on offense, but potentially doing so more efficiently. He has shown continued improvement from year to year throughout his career, improving his scoring production (9.8 to 13.1 to 14.9 ppg), free throw percentage (67.5 to 70.5 to 81.7%), and blocks (0.3 to 0.5 to 0.8 blocks per game).
Wells has, at times, played out of position for Mark Turgeon. He's run the point and has also been limited in being able to maximize his skill sets at times due to Maryland's roster make up. With the arrival of Melo Trimble to run the point and with a healthy Seth Allen on the court, Wells could potentially increase his production next season. Without Allen, Wells might have, at times, been trying to do too much. Having a second reliable scorer on the court, along with an additional ball handler to run the offense, should be a great benefit to Dez next season.
The Terps should also have a solid rim protector in either Trayvon Reed, Michal Cekovsky or Damonte Dodd, which will hopefully result in additional blocks and potentially more fast break points for Dez, especially following the departure of Nick Faust.
Dez also does a great job getting to the line, where he's been Maryland's best free throw shooter. If he can continuously get to the line, continue to improve his mid-range jumper and breakdown defenders off the dribble, I'd expect Dez to have an outstanding senior season. He should benefit from Maryland's roster additions and if he can improve on his three point shot, he could be one of the most complete and dangerous players in the B1G next year.