Transfer season is a unique time in college basketball. It comes towards the end of the NCAA tournament, once nearly every team's season has concluded. For players, it's a chance to get a change of scenery, for whatever reason. For coaches, it's an extra recruiting period. For fans, it's another chance for them to dream of that one last piece that will take their beloved team to the promise land.
With transfer season approaching, this is your transfer primer with all-things Maryland basketball transfers.
Transfers on the 2014-15 Roster
Mark Turgeon has certainly dipped into the transfer market several times during his time at Maryland. With that being said, here's a look at the transfers who were on the 2014-15 roster.
It's honestly hard to believe that Dez Wells wasn't always a Terp. He was at one time a Musketeer, of Xavier. While his exit from Xavier was ugly, his presence at Maryland was beautiful. Wells was the unquestioned leader of Maryland's team this year. He averaged 15.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game during this past season. Wells certainly has the talent to play at the next level, and it will be interesting to see if and when a team drafts him in the upcoming NBA Draft.
After beginning his career with the Michigan Wolverines, Smotrycz transferred to Maryland. The Maryland coaching staff had high hopes for Smotrycz, but he just never clicked in college park. At Michigan, Smotrycz was a great shooter (48% FG, 44% 3-Point FG, and 78% FT in 2011-12) but at Maryland his shooting percentages just kept declining. This past season, Smotrycz shot 32% on field goals, 29% from the three-point line, and 76% from the free throw line. He averaged 4.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game this past season.
Graham transferred to Maryland after two seasons at Penn State. Graham was never really looked at as a program saver when he transferred, but more as an energy guy who would provide front-court depth. Graham's father Ernie Graham will forever be beloved in College Park, and it was nice to see the younger Graham in a Maryland uniform himself. In his senior season, Graham played 11.3 minutes per game, averaging 2.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, and shot 53% from the field.
Brought him as a graduate transfer, Pack made a solid contribution to the roster this season. Pack transferred to play at Maryland after playing for North Carolina A&T. Pack's biggest contributions came on defense, where he was one of the Terps best perimeter defenders. Pack averaged 5.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game during his first and only season in College Park.
Ram began his career at a Division III school, and then walked on to play at the University of Maryland. Ram would eventually earn a scholarship in the program and had one of the most memorable moments of his life in the NCAA tournament. With Valparaiso trailing in the final seconds, Turgeon put in the 5'9" guard for his defense. Valparaiso's last second hopes never came close to fruition, as Ram knocked the ball out of the shooter's hands on his way up. Although he previously said that this would be his last season, Ram is now having second thoughts. He has one year of eligibility remaining, and he could presumably come back to the team if he wanted to.
Robert Carter Jr.
Terps fan have been hearing great things connected with this name since his decision to transfer from Georgia Tech to Maryland. This season makes you wonder, what if he could have been out there playing, how far would this team have gone? Nevertheless, Maryland fans still have a lot to be excited about with Carter, as he has two years of eligibility remaining. He averaged 11.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game in his last season at Georgia Tech, Carter's addition to next year's team will help Maryland rebound, and he will be a great front-court running mate with Diamond Stone.
Potential Transfer Targets
As previously stated, Mark Turgeon will take advantage of the opportunity to add a player via the transfer market. Five players who played in 2014-15 were transfers, and a sixth player is sitting out due to transfer rules. It is clear that Turgeon will add transfers, but who will he add this year?
Damion Lee has been talked about a lot by Maryland fans since his announcement that he would graduate and transfer from Drexel. The connections with the Maryland basketball program are certainly there. Lee played for the same AAU team as Melo Trimble and Damonte Dodd, D.C. Assault. Also, he graduated from the same high school, Calvert Hall, as Jon Graham and assistant coach Juan Dixon. Lee has said that Trimble and Graham have reached out to him, and I'm sure Turgeon's staff have done that as well. Lee would be a great addition to an already formidable Maryland roster. He's a great scorer, 21.4 points last season, and a solid perimeter defender as shown by his first team CAA defensive team recognition.
Don't take this the wrong way, I don't want his name on this list either. The former headache for the Duke basketball team, still attends Duke university and will look to graduate and transfer so that he is eligible immediately. He had his ups and downs on and off the court, and was eventually dismissed from Duke's basketball team. While there is no solid evidence that links Sulaimon to Maryland, it's not completely outlandish. Turgeon has been able to look past allegations of misconduct off the court, and bring in a player if they are not found of wrong doings (Dez Wells). While the details are still extremely cloudy in the case of Sulaimon, that was the case with Wells also. It would be unlikely because Sulaimon seemed to disrupt the chemistry with Duke's team, and the chemistry on Maryland's team is great, so why mess that up?
The Ivy League standout for Cornell is a 6'7" power forward that can score and rebound in spite of his relative lack of size for that position. Miller will graduate and be eligible immediately for whichever program he decides to go to. Miller averaged 16.8 points, 8.5 assists, and 1.8 blocks last season for Cornell. Miller is said to have had the most contact with UCONN, Illinois, Boston College, Michigan, Marquette, and California, but that doesn't mean that Turgeon hasn't contacted Miller. I believe that Maryland will stay where they are at the four and five positions and look for a guard or wing as a transfer.
Ennis played for the Villanova Wildcats, and will graduate in May and finish his NCAA eligibility elsewhere. Ennis is a point guard who averaged 9.9 points, and 3.5 assists per game last season. Now, you may be thinking, "Turgeon doesn't need another point guard!' On the contrary, Turgeon may think that he does. After the loss to West Virginia, Turgeon said that he may look to add another guard who can handle the ball to go with Trimble, and Junior College standout Jaylen Brantley. An additional ball handler could be considered a need for this team. The other guards, Nickens and Wiley didn't handle the ball much during the season, and that created a problem in their NCAA tournament loss. Also, next year Trimble could move off the ball at times, and come off screens to catch and shoot.
From Laurel, Maryland, Reed was a standout freshman for the Robert Morris Colonials of the North East Conference. The competition that Reed played against wasn't elite, but he put up numbers that are deserving of a look at a higher level conference. Reed was named the conference's best freshman, and is now looking for a new program. Unlike the previous names on this list, Reed will sit out one season because of NCAA transfer rules. Reed put up 15.1 points, on 49% shooting, and 41% from the three-point line. Reed would provide a team with a guard that has an scoring ability. Reed had big performances against North Carolina and Duke, 24 points against the Tarheels and 22 points against the Blue Devils in the NCAA tournament loss.
Yet another guard that is from the Maryland area, Stanford Robinson hails from Landover, Maryland. After two seasons at Indiana, Robinson is transferring. Robinson saw his minutes decline from his freshman year (16.9 minutes per game) to his sophomore year (11.4 minutes per game). Robinson is a slashing wing player who can get to the bucket, and is said to be a good perimeter defender. Robinson will also have to sit out a year, after he decides his next school, due to NCAA transfer rules.
The first priority for the Maryland coaching staff appears to be Damion Lee. They will have a lot of competition for Lee's services next season, as he is a proven scorer who will add instant point production. Expect Maryland's coaches and players to continue to press Lee to come to Maryland next season as he would most likely be a starter from day one.
Where are they now?
Last transfer season, Maryland fans saw five players jump the ship and pursue opportunities elsewhere. While Maryland fans are happy to say that Maryland was better without them, some may be wondering how they're doing now.
Seth Allen had some great moments with the Terps, and also some frustrating turnovers. Allen's transfer had to have been the most surprising out of the five because he seemed to enjoy his time in College Park, always smiling. Allen averaged 9.8 points in his two season for Maryland. Allen transferred to Virginia Tech, and sat out this past season due to transfer rules. Next season, he will be joining a Virginia Tech team that went 11-22 overall, and 2-16 in the ACC. To add insult to injury, Virginia Tech's leading scorer, Adam Smith, announced his transfer.
Remember when Nick Faust was ranked number 37 on the ESPN Top 100 in 2011? Maryland fans were supposed to be getting a stud, a hometown hero. Things didn't quite work out that way. Faust transferred from Maryland after averaging 9.2 points per game during his three seasons in College Park. He originally committed to transfer to Oregon State; but after the head coach, Craig Robinson, was fired he reopened his recruiting. He ultimately transferred to play for Long Beach State of the Big West conference. Faust did not play this past season due to transfer rules. He will join a 49ers team that went 16-17 overall and 10-6 in conference play.
Another player who didn't live up to expectations for the Terps was Shaquille Cleare. Ranked as the number 30 player in the class of 2012 by ESPN, Cleare struggled to shine at Maryland. In two seasons at Maryland, Cleare averaged 3.4 points, and 2.6 rebounds. Cleare then transferred to Texas and sat out this past season. Cleare is the only transfer that will join a team that was in the NCAA tournament next season. Also, Cleare joins a Longhorn team that will be led by a new coach, Shaka Smart. It will be interesting to see how Cleare will fit into Smart's system. Cleare could also ask for his release from the Texas program if he doesn't see himself as a fit with Smart's system, but that remains to be seen.
Peters was ranked as the 52nd best recruit in the 2013 class by ESPN, and he didn't really receive much opportunity to prove himself worthy of that ranking. He averaged 15.1 minutes per game in his only season at Maryland, and that number was inflated due to Seth Allen's early season injury. He averaged 4.1 points, and 2.1 assists per game in the 2013-14 season. Peters' outside shot was shaky as he shot 43% on two-point shots, and just 11% on three-point shots. Peters transferred to South Florida and will become eligible to play next season. He joints a team that went just 9-23 overall, and 3-15 within the American Conference.
Mitchell was a high energy guy and a good rebounder for Maryland. He sometimes clashed with head coach Mark Turgeon, and was even suspended for a game last season. However, this was not the reason that he left Maryland, as he transferred to Georgia Tech to be closer to his ill grandmother. Due to this transfer reasoning, Mitchell was granted a waiver that allowed him to play immediately, becoming the only Maryland transfer to play last season. Mitchell's transfer seems to be benefitting him well, as he is closer to home, he received an expanded role (18.8 minutes in 2013-14, 22.1 in 2014-15), and his numbers improved. Mitchell averaged six points, and 5.9 rebounds during his two seasons at Maryland, and averaged 9.8 points and 7 rebounds with Georgia Tech this past season.
With all that being said, transfer season is upon us! Here's to hoping that Maryland can add a player that will come in and improve their 2015-16 roster!