#34 Maryland Men's Basketball 2014-2015 Preview

Maryland Terrapins

2014-2015 Overall Rank: #34
Conference Rank: #7 Big Ten

Maryland Team Page#34 Maryland Men's Basketball 2014-2015 PreviewBuy Maryland Basketball Tickets

Maryland is coming off of a relatively disappointing season. The Terps struggled to string together many wins and they ended up 17-15 overall and 9-9 in ACC play. Of course, this is a big year for the program as they head to the Big Ten. With last year’s disappointment and the transfer of five players, this is a team in major transition. However, Coach Mark Turgeon has quite a bit of talent on this roster, but it remains to be seen how all of the new faces in a new conference will come together. Dez Wells is a nice place to start though. The 6-5 senior wing averaged 14.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists last season. He is not afraid to attack the basket and will at least end up at the charity stripe. Turnovers can be a problem and it would be nice if Wells could shoot more consistently from long range, but he will score either way.

2013-14 Record: 17-15, 9-9
2013-14 Postseason: None
Coach: Mark Turgeon
Coach Record: 59-43 at Maryland, 310-202 overall

Who’s Out:
The five transfers are the only departures. Seth Allen only played in 20 games last season, but he did average 13.4 points and a team high 3.0 assists. Allen was also the most consistent outside shooter on the team. Nick Faust and Roddy Peters have also left the backcourt. Faust had a decent junior season and was always dangerous using his 6-6 frame to attack the basket. Peters spent just one year with the Terrapins and averaged 2.1 assists per game, but never found his scoring touch. The transfers up front are Charles Mitchell and Shaquille Cleare. Both averaged under 20 minutes per game, but that did not stop Mitchell from leading the team with 6.3 rebounds per game and emerging as the team’s best interior scorer.

Who’s In:
The more Melo Trimble can contribute, the more time Wells can spend off of the ball. Trimble is, arguably, the best recruit to come to Maryland in a decade and the hopes are very high for him to step right into the starting point guard role. This team needs a quick player who can get into the lane and finish or set up for his teammates and that is exactly what Trimble will do. The backcourt also adds Dion Wiley and North Carolina A&T transfer Richaud Pack. Wiley was another great pickup for the Terps and he could be the best shooter in the backcourt from day one. Pack spent the 2013-2014 season averaging 17.0 points per game for North Carolina A&T and he can flat out shoot. He also has enough strength to finish around the basket, even against Big Ten opponents. Small forward Jared Nickens and center Michal Cekovsky round out the group of newcomers. Nickens is another shooter, while Cekovsky is a perimeter based seven-footer.

Who to Watch:
Wells and the newcomers will continue to get a lot of attention, but Coach Turgeon does have other returning talent besides Wells. Most notable are forwards Jake Layman and Evan Smotrycz. Layman is more of a big wing than a forward, but at 6-8 and 205 pounds, he can certainly play the power forward position. After averaging 11.7 points and 5.0 rebounds and knocking down 36.5 percent of his three-point attempts, the expectations are high for Layman. Smotrycz averaged 11.0 points and 6.0 rebounds as a junior and the stretch forward is a very, very good shooter. He played very well during his first year in College Park after transferring in from Michigan and that should continue. Jon Graham and Damonte Dodd are more traditional big men, but it remains to be seen if either are ready to live up to their potential. Together they averaged only 18 minutes per game last season.

Final Projection:
Finding a big body in the paint will be immensely important for this group. If Smotrycz has to play at the five and Layman at the four, this team will be in trouble on the glass and, against most opponents, defensively. The more minutes Graham, Dodd and Cekovsky can fill productively, the bigger and tougher this team will be. Toughness will be needed during the grind of Big Ten play, so somebody better step up. To start with, Coach Turgeon may want to run a smaller lineup, but that will likely change by January if this team is going to end up on the right side of the bubble.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA Tournament

Projected Starting Five:
Melo Trimble, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Dion Wiley, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Dez Wells, Senior, Guard, 14.9 points per game
Jake Layman, Junior, Forward, 11.7 points per game
Evan Smotrycz, Senior, Forward, 11.0 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 70.9 (179th in nation, 7th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.7 (109, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.0 (237, 12)
Field-Goal Defense: 41.7 (82, 9)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.1 (94, 4)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.2 (168, 8)
Free-Throw Percentage: 67.9 (238, 10)
Rebound Margin: 3.3 (70, 5)
Assists Per Game: 11.7 (247, 11)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.8 (218, 14)

Madness 2015 NBA Draft Rankings:
#74 Dez Wells

Madness 2014 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#32 Romelo Trimble
#52 Dion Wiley
#102 Trayvon Reed
#107 Jared Nickens


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