Monday afternoon brought with it a bit of a shock to the college basketball community when former Rutgers point guard Jerome Seagears announced that he would not be transferring to Auburn as he previously stated.
Seagears, of Silver Spring, Md., was a by-product of the Rutgers basketball scandal that occurred earlier this year. Seagears decided not to play his junior year at Rutgers because of the emotional damages he suffered at the hands of former Scarlet Knights head coach Mike Rice, instead deciding to transfer to Auburn in early may.
Turns out, that won’t be the case anymore, as Auburn coach Tony Barbee released a statement with the news that Seagears would prefer to remain at home, and that he “came to me and expressed that he hadn’t truly recovered emotionally from his time at Rutgers.” Before ever playing a game or attending a class at Auburn, Seagears is already in search of a new home.
Now for many obvious reasons, this has some implications for the Maryland Terrapins in their quest to bolster their back court (which had recently taken a hiatus) by way of a transfer player. After losing out on a number of players, including another Rutgers guard in Eli Carter, Mark Turgeon sort of seemed resigned to the fact that Maryland might just go ahead into next season with the squad as assembled. After all, there’s no point in adding someone to the roster just to make the numbers fill out entirely.
Well, Seagears desire to come back home might cause the Terps to rethink that stance, as he is a solid, upper-classmen player who could come in right away and help the Terrapins at a position they have depth issues with. Seagears is, as I said before, from Silver Spring, which is a solid fifteen minutes from Maryland, depending on traffic. That he has openly said that he wants to be close to home suggests that Maryland could very well be the school for him, as it would allow him to have a strong system of support mere minutes from campus. Seagears is familiar with the school, the people around it, and it would be a huge benefit for him to come.
That’s not to mention that Seagears played his AAU ball with local powerhouse D.C. Assault, the same team where incoming freshman Roddy Peters played his basketball, as well as future Terrapin (in 2014) Romelo Trimble. The connection between Turgeon’s staff and Seagears youth team has seen a major strengthening in recent years, and if ever he had an ear for what Maryland had to say, that time is now.
For him, the decision to attend Maryland is almost a no-brainer. Remain close to home, potentially get minutes straight away in a back court that doesn’t have much experience, and finally, be able to play amongst friends and family. But the decision comes with two parts, because at this point you have to ask if Maryland really needs him.
Maryland has had some pretty good fortune lately after having a so-so summer on the transfer front. A recent commitment by 2014 4 1/2-star shooting guard Dion Wiley has Maryland fully prepped in their back court of the future in 2014, Roddy Peters is healthy again, and Romelo Trimble should be a fantastic guard for the Terps. In 2014, Maryland isn’t going to need another point guard on the roster. When they wanted a transfer at the guard position, the Terrapins envisioned a one-year rental player who would serve as a stopgap until 2014.
In that regard, Seagears isn’t their guy. If he opted to transfer into Maryland, Seagears would probably be able to play right away, but he’d be around for two years. His presence would be welcome next year, but in 2014 with Romelo Trimble, Dion Wiley, Nick Faust, Seth Allen, and Dez Wells all on the roster, adding a sixth guard would bottleneck the back court. Six guards on the roster seems a tad excessive, and I’m not sure anyone would be happy because of how few minutes there would be to go around.
With that out of the way, we can look at it strictly from a basketball standpoint: would Seagears help on the court? That answer is definitively yes. Seagears numbers from last year might not look that great at first glance: 6.5 PPG, 2.2 RPG, 2.6 APG on 37% shooting isn’t too hot. But Seagears is a much better passer than you’d think, and more importantly, he can shoot incredibly well from deep.
On the season, Seagears hit 38% of his shots from deep. That number gets even better when you isolate his final 17 games, as he hit 27 three pointers in that span and shot 41% from deep. Seagears can drain shots when he is open, and that’s something that Pe’Shon Howard was entirely incapable of doing. As a three point threat, Seagears would be one of the best on the staff immediately; he’d fill in for Logan Aronhalt admirably.
The other thing Seagears does well? Ball handling. Seagears has a very tight handle, and isn’t going to be one to turn the ball over a ton. He’s athletic and knows how to use his speed and quickness to keep defenses off guard, and cuts to the basket well enough to be adept at kickouts. His passing numbers don’t wow you that much, but they don’t tell the entire story about him. Seagears is a solid (if unspectacular passer), and would benefit greatly from the weapons the Terrapins have on the wings now. His numbers would definitively jump up playing on a team like the Terrapins because he is solid at kicking the ball out to other guys once he penetrates.
So would the Terrapins be better off with Seagears on the roster? As a basketball team, resoundingly yes. But as you can see here, it’s simply not that simple.