Dez Wells Watch: Making Sense of Wells' Recruitment from a Maryland Perspective
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Under the supervision of former coach Gary Williams, accepting transfers recently had been a rare occurrence for Maryland basketball.
With new coach Mark Turgeon at the helm, that trend has taken a complete 180-degree turn.
After reeling in ex-Albany senior guard Logan Aronhalt for this season, and ex-Michigan wing Evan Smotrycz for 2013-14, Turgeon is on the hunt for a third transfer during his tenure in College Park.
This time, his target is Dez Wells.
Wells, who played one promising season at Xavier in which he averaged nearly 10 points per contest, was expelled from the university on accusations of sexual assault.
Well, it turns out that Wells was expelled from Xavier for a crime that he didn't commit.
After hearing all of the evidence, the Hamilton County Grand Jury ignored the case and determined that no charges would be filed against Wells.
Prosecutor Joe Deters stated:
I have nothing but the greatest respect for Xavier University, and in particular Fr. Graham. I would sincerely hope the institution would revisit this situation.
Xavier has not reconsidered the wrongful expulsion of Wells, and is not currently supplying Wells with a scholarship to return to. Therefore, Wells' days as a Musketeer are over.
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In most cases, transfers will take weeks to overview their options and make a decision on where they are transferring to.
Wells' case is different.
The former Xavier guard is pursuing a hardship waiver to make him eligible in 2012-13. Since Wells was expelled for a crime that he did not commit, the NCAA may choose to give him the opportunity to play right away.
If Wells were to receive this waiver and be able to play this season, he would need to register for classes before the deadline closes for whichever school he commits to.
If Wells were to not receive this waiver and have to sit out a season like most transfers, he still would need to register for the 2012 fall semester of classes before the deadline closes in order to play the first semester of the 2013-14 season at whichever school he commits to.
Using all of this information, let's break down the schools that Wells is considering and examine the possibility of each landing the sophomore standout.
Louisville emerged as the frontrunner immediately after Wells was expelled from Xavier. It was soon revealed that Wells never even took a visit to Louisville because they do not have any scholarships to offer.
Kentucky was next on Wells' agenda of schools to visit, and he did take a trip to Lexington. The problem was that Kentucky's registration for classes ended the night that Wells was on campus. If Wells was going to commit to Kentucky, he would have had to pledge during his visit. Wells left Lexington without committing, therefore eliminating Kentucky barring any help from the NCAA.
Where will Wells choose to play?
Memphis, Maryland and Oregon are the next three schools on Wells' schedule.
Wells saw Memphis on Friday, August 31st, but their registration closed as Wells left. Once again, there was no pledge from Wells, which theoretically eliminates Memphis from the Wells sweepstakes, barring any help from the NCAA.
The former Word of God Academy standout spent Saturday at Maryland, and will travel to Oregon to complete his journey of visits.
Wells will decide his next team towards the beginning of this week. Maryland's chances of landing Wells seem to be pretty high right now, with a slight edge over Oregon because of Wells' ties to Maryland assistant Bino Ranson while Ranson was at Xavier.
Obviously Wells' talent will benefit Maryland, Oregon or whichever program he attends. But, since Maryland is isolating some of their 2013-14 roster space for some high-profile recruits, should the Terrapins even pursue Wells?
Wells fitting in with the 2012-13 roster presents no issues, as Maryland is done recruiting for this season and has open spaces left.
Barring any forced attrition or NBA early entries (Nick Faust or Alex Len), Maryland only has three scholarship roster spaces available for the 2013-14 season. Wells has three years of eligibility left, meaning that if he were to commit to Maryland, he would take up one of those three roster spots.
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With only two roster spots available, landing the highly-touted Harrison twins would finish the 2013 class, and you can forget about nabbing the Harrison twins and Roddy Peters.
Of course, players transfer, leave the program or advance to the NBA. But that doesn't happen every year, and Maryland could potentially damage their 2013 recruiting class by obtaining Dez Wells who would swallow up a 2013-14 roster spot.
Whether Maryland should or should not fully pursue Dez Wells is in the hands of Mark Turgeon, and the Terrapin faithful has a lot of trust in Turgeon's decision making.
Either way, the Terps have had their fair share of participation on the transfer wire recently, and their involvement may result in success in the near future.
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