By: Tim Van Blarcom, Feature Writer
The University of Maryland announced that Nick Faust, Shaquille Cleare, and Roddy Peters have transferred from the basketball program. The news broke April 8th following the NCAA National Championship game and the start of 2014-15 offseason.
While three transfers in a season can be a big plow for any program, Maryland has a top 10 recruiting class coming in this year. McDonald’s All American point guard Romelo Trimble headlines the class along with shooting guards Dion Wiley and Jared Nickens. Center Trayvon Reed is also a part of the class alongside the recently announced commitment of European 7-foot center Michal Cekovsky. This influx of freshmen talent alongside a 19-17 record are contributing factors to this exodus from Maryland.
Junior Nick Faust was the last player in the program that was recruited by Gary Williams. Faust played off the bench last season and saw a decrease in his career minutes, points, and shooting percentages. The Baltimore native was once a Top 50 recruit known for his shooting but had a hot and cold career with Maryland. Faust shot 38.4% from the field and only 30.1% from beyond the arc.
Their were rumors after the 2012-13 season that Faust could be looking to transfer as he looks for more playing time. With shooters Trimble, Wiley, and Nickens incoming, Faust preferred to transfer out of the now crowded backcourt.
Freshmen point guard Roddy Peters saw most of his playing time during the first half of the season with Seth Allen injured. Peters was inconsistent and turnover prone when on the court. He averaged 15.1 minutes, 4.1 points, 2.1 assists, and 1.8 turnovers a game. Coming into the season, Maryland had hopes that Peters would be ready for starting point guard duties which would’ve allowed for Allen to play more shooting guard.
With Trimble incoming and viewed as an immediate starter at point guard, Peters chose to transfer to find playing time at another program. Peters should be able to find a new program that’ll give him the minutes he desires and has the patience to go through his growing pains.
Shaquille Cleare began the 2013-14 season as the starter at center for Maryland, but inconsistent offense and defense along with constant foul trouble saw his playing time decrease throughout the year. Fellow centers, Charles Mitchell and Jon Graham each saw increased playing time as Cleare struggled. Cleare averaged 13.8 minutes, 3 points, and 2.5 rebounds last year. The commitments of Cekovsky and Reed certainly threatened Cleare’s playing time in 2014-15.
While the transfers of Faust, Cleare, and Peters is a disappointment for Maryland fans the incoming recruiting class should more than replenish the talent on Maryland. Coach Turgeon will still have his hands full utilizing the players he does has and he may not be done recruiting yet with two open scholarships now available.
Currently, Maryland will return starters Seth Allen, Dez Wells, Jake Layman and Evan Smotrycz. The starting center will be in competition between Charles Mitchell and incoming freshmen Trayvon Reed and Michal Cekovsky. Romelo Trimble could take over the starting point guard competition and force either Seth Allen or Dez Wells to start the year on the bench. Turgeon will also have to find playing time for shooters Dion Wiley and Jared Nickens which could lead to more guard heavy sets from Maryland next year.
Expectations for Maryland will be at a high for their first year in the B1G conference and a 4 year absence from the NCAA tournament. As the fan base continues to grow impatient, Turgeon could find himself on the hot seat if Maryland can’t play its way into post-season play for a fifth straight year.