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A look at potential transfer portal targets for Maryland men’s basketball

The Terps have two scholarships open and depth issues at point guard and in the frontcourt

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 23 Georgetown at Seton Hall Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Despite the Final Four still ahead, this college basketball offseason has already proven to be a transfer frenzy.

There are over 1,000 players college basketball players are currently in the transfer portal, looking to find better opportunities next season. With seniors having extra eligibility and the clocks being paused on all other athletes, it makes sense for players to test the waters and see what they can find.

Maryland men’s basketball had its first portal attrition Wednesday with 7-foot-2 center Chol Marial announcing he plans to transfer, which was expected. This move leaves the Terps with two open scholarship spots for next season, even with two freshmen coming in and the options for Darryl Morsell and Galin Smith to return — Reese Mona has already announced that he won’t be coming back.

The clear needs for the Terps are the same as last offseason that were never filled, with the team lacking true depth at the point guard position and a glaring hole in the frontcourt with no dominant post players.

Here are some of the options currently in the portal that Mark Turgeon and his staff could aim for. If there is no reported Maryland interest, that means the player has not shared who they are talking to or there have not been reports that the school has reached out yet.

Forwards/Centers to know

Qudus Wahab, 6-foot-11 center, Georgetown, sophomore
Reported Maryland interest: Yes

Wahab is a local prospect that wound up at Georgetown and played a role from the day he landed on campus. After averaging 5.5 points and 4.3 rebounds as a freshman, Wahab went on to average 12.7 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 27.7 minutes while starting 25 of 26 contests during the 2020-21 season. His success heightened at the right time of the season, earning a spot on the 2021 Big East All-Tournament team as the Hoyas won the tournament in part to his 15.4 points per game. Wahab confirmed to Testudo Times that the Terps are involved in his recruitment.

John Harrar, 6-foot-9 forward, Penn State, senior
Reported Maryland interest: Yes

No stranger to Maryland fans, Penn State’s John Harrar is on the market and looking at potential options with one year left. Harrar had a decent senior season for the Nittany Lions, averaging 8.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. He led the Big Ten in offensive rebounding with 3.8 per game. At 6-foot-9, 240 pounds, Harrar doesn’t have the best size, but proved to be a hard worker in the paint against Big Ten competition.

Walker Kessler, 7-foot-1 forward/center, North Carolina, freshman
Reported Maryland interest: No

Probably the least likely to land in College Park in the entire portal, Kessler is without a doubt the top player for every team to keep tabs on this offseason. A former five-star recruit and the No. 22 overall player in the 2020 class, Kessler landed at North Carolina, but played sparingly in his freshman season. The 7-foot-1, 245-pound center saw action in 29 games, but failed to start, averaging 4.4 points and 3.2 rebounds across 8.7 minutes per game. Landing Kessler would immediately give the Terps a potential All-Big Ten post player.

Tre Mitchell, 6-foot-9 center, UMass, sophomore
Reported Maryland interest: No

While not being the tallest of the bunch, Mitchell packs a punch in his 6-foot-9, 240-pound frame. The UMass center was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year for the 2019-20 season after averaging 17.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. In 2020-21, Mitchell played in just 13 contests, but averaged 18.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 51.9% from the floor. Mitchell would undoubtedly bring production to the low-post at the high-major level.

Nysier Brooks, 7-foot center, Miami,
Reported Maryland interest: No

Redshirt senior Nysier Brooks entered the transfer portal around the same time as Chris Lykes, looking to use his final year of eligibility. At 7-foot, 240 pounds, Brooks brings the ideal frame to compete in any high-major conference. In his one season with Miami, Brooks averaged 7.4 points and 5.7 rebounds and 27.4 minutes per game. These numbers showed some regression from his junior season at Cincinnati, but he could provide a big body down low if other options fail.

Nate Reuvers, 6-foot-11 forward, Wisconsin, senior
Reported Maryland interest: No

Wisconsin senior Nate Reuvers saw some setbacks during the 2020-21 campaign, but provides stretch five capabilities. The 6-foot-11 Reuvers averaged 8.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game this past season, down from 13.1 points and 4.5 rebounds that saw him earn All-Big Ten honors the season prior. While Maryland may be looking for more of a post option, Reuvers could provide more of the positionless skill set that the Terps have tried to employ.

Myles Johnson, 6-foot-11 center, Rutgers, junior
Reported Maryland interest: No

The 6-foot-11, 255-pound Rutgers center has entered the portal with two seasons of eligibility. Johnson continued his positive progression for the Scarlet Knights in 2020-21, averaging 8.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. While he only had 156 field goal attempts, Johnson shot 62.8% from the field, which would have placed him second in the Big Ten behind Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn. Johnson tallied 10 points and 16 rebounds against Maryland to open the Big Ten conference schedule this past season, becoming one of the first warning signs of the Terps’ lack of high-major size.

Guards to know

Chris Lykes, 5-foot-7 guard, Miami, senior
Reported Maryland interest: Yes

Maryland native Chris Lykes decided to enter the transfer portal rather than opting for the NBA Draft with one extra year of eligibility remaining. Lykes averaged 13.6 points, 2.7 assists and 2.0 rebounds assists per game in his first three seasons with the Miami Hurricanes before an ankle injury sidelined him for the 2020-21 season after just two games — he had 15.5 points. During his last full season in 2019-20, Lykes averaged 15.4 points, 2.4 assists and 2.1 rebounds across 30.1 minutes per game.

The Gonzaga (D.C.) product has plentiful WCAC connections to the Terrapin program, being a former teammate of Mark Turgeon’s son, Will, and facing off with former Terps Anthony Cowan Jr. and Reese Mona while in high school. Standing at 5-foot-7, 160 pounds, Lykes’ size does raise questions, but he has elite speed and could very well be a strong one-year piece at the point for Maryland.

Ahmed Ali, 5-foot-11 guard, Portland, senior
Reported Maryland interest: Yes

Toronto native Ahmed Ali decided to transfer from Portland for his final season, which would be his fifth school in five college seasons. Ali started at the JUCO level with Eastern Florida State College before transferring to Washington State then Hawaii. After not playing for the Warriors in 2019-20, Ali landed at Portland for his senior season, where he averaged 18.2 points, 3.1 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game.

Wendell Green Jr., 5-foot-11 guard, Eastern Kentucky, freshman
Reported Maryland interest: Yes

Green entered the college ranks during the 2020-21 season as a three-star recruit, but blew up at Eastern Kentucky. The Indiana native played in 29 games, starting 25, and averaged 15.8 points, 5.0 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game. Green also stands at 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, providing a slightly smaller frame which may raise questions about his game translating to a high-major level.

Noah Locke, 6-foot-3 guard, Florida, junior
Reported Maryland interest: Yes

One of Maryland’s top local targets in recent history, Locke has decided to transfer from Florida with two years of eligibility remaining. The McDonogh product played in 92 games as a Gator, including 79 starts, averaging 10.1 points and 2.4 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game. While the Terps are looking for more of a true point guard, Locke could provide a strong two guard option. A recent report indicates that the Terps’ interest may be fading on Locke with no Zoom scheduled.

Kadary Richmond, 6-foot-5 guard, Syracuse, freshman
Reported Maryland interest: Yes

If Maryland wanted to continue building on its length, 6-foot-5 Richmond could be a key option. Richmond started only three games in his freshman season for Syracuse, but played in all 28 contests, averaging 6.3 points, 3.1 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 21.0 minutes per game. A product of Brewster Academy (N.H.), Richmond also has a connection with Maryland guard Marcus Dockery and could form a one-two punch for the long term.

Malik Curry, 6-foot-1 guard, Old Dominion, senior
Reported Maryland interest: Yes

Senior point guard Malik Curry entered the transfer portal for his final year of eligibility after a strong season at Old Dominion. In 20 games during the 2020-21 season, Curry averaged 15.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.9 steals per game. His senior season started with a 17-point effort against the Terps, giving a direct scouting chance for the Maryland staff. Being from Wilmington, Delaware, Curry has a connection with Eric Ayala, which could be a key pull for one final season.

Marcus Carr, 6-foot-2 guard, Minnesota, junior
Reported Maryland interest: No

Carr is the name Maryland fans recognize the most on this list, as the Minnesota star has had success against the Terps. In 29 games during the 2020-21 season, Carr averaged 19.4 points, 4.9 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game, earning him All-Big Ten honors, named to the second team by the media and the third team by coaches. Bringing in Carr would shake up the Maryland offense with a true scoring threat up top that has successful Big Ten experience.

Khristian Lander, 6-foot-2 guard, Indiana, freshman
Reported Maryland interest: No

Former five-star recruit Khristian Lander was the nation’s No. 6 point guard and No. 27 overall prospect heading into his freshman season, but he didn’t see much time off the bench. Lander averaged 2.1 points and 1.6 assists and 10.2 minutes per game across 26 appearances, but certainly has the talent and eligibility to be a long-term solution.

Boogie Ellis, 6-foot-3 guard, Memphis, sophomore
Reported Maryland interest: No

Ellis joined a surprising exodus from the Memphis Tigers’ program despite a 20-8 campaign that included winning the NIT Championship. In 59 appearances, including 42 starts, across two seasons, Ellis averaged 9.1 points and 1.5 assists per game. In 2020-21, he averaged 10.2 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game while shooting 38.6% from deep. It is unclear if Ellis wants to play the point or more of a scoring guard role, but the nation’s No. 36 prospect in 2019 could give any roster a boost.