The Terps basketball team got a lot better today when they announced the acquisition of Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter Jr. to the program. Well, maybe they didn’t get better today, but they did get better in the future. The 2015 season feels a long ways away, but it’s never too early to gain some perspective on Maryland’s situation moving forward.
The Roster Situation
In 2015, when Bob Carter will be eligible, here’s how the Terps roster stacks up:
1.) Michal Cekovsky (SO)
2.) Trayvon Reed (SO)
3.) Dion Wiley (SO)
4.) Melo Trimble (SO)
5.) Jared Nickens (SO)
6.) Robert Carter Jr. (RS-JR)
7.) Damonte Dodd (JR)
8.) Jake Layman (SR)
As it stands, Maryland will have spots 9 through 13 wide open to bring in players, as an eight man rotation is incredibly unwise in college hoops. Even this is not exactly set in stone, as players leave unexpectedly all the time nowadays (see: Maryland offseason, 2014). The only guaranteed departures on Maryland’s roster are Dez Wells and Evan Smotrycz, both of whom are rising seniors.
Assuming everyone else stays in place, the acquisition of Carter helps immensely with replicating the resident starting power forward, Smotrycz, at the very least. Smotrycz and Carter are actually two very similar players offensively; both capable of hitting it from anywhere. The biggest difference is that whereas Carter is a very streaky shooter from deep (just enough to keep defenses honest at 27% for his career), Smotrycz is elite from there (career 39% shooter). Smotrycz is a better passer and safer with the ball, too.
Defensively, while the two both have their deficiencies on that end of the floor, Carter is an upgrade in a few ways. Smotrycz isn’t a bad rebounder by any stretch, collecting 12% of all available rebounds and almost 7% of offensive boards. That said, Carter is closer to Charles Mitchell in his approach to rebounding (though not quite on par). Carter grabbed 28% of all defensive rebounds available, good for 7th in the ACC. Carter doesn’t foul as often, blocks more shots per minute, and doesn’t give up as much size as Smotrycz. Both players have a tendency to slack off at times on the defensive end, however, as many Tech fans will attest happened with Carter Jr.
Should Carter be in shape following a year in wait, he’ll start right away.
Will Maryland Add Another Transfer This Offseason?
West Virginia guard Terry Henderson is visiting Maryland over the weekend, and could end up as a Terrapin (though he has stated he will take other visits). Henderson was a capable scorer for the Mountaineers last season, and acquiring him would give Maryland a proven commodity in 2015. Of course, Wiley and Nickens could easily emerge to become very capable players, but there’s nothing wrong with adding on another piece that’s guaranteed to be solid. Competition is always good.
Who Do The Terps Grab In 2015?
Maryland’s 2015 class, from a needs standpoint, is only lacking one thing: more point guard play. Melo Trimble is the only point guard on the books, and bolstering that position would be huge. 2015 PG Justin Robinson (St. James) would be one guy Maryland could look at to fill that need, as he’s a true point guard that might need a year or two as a backup before becoming a steady contributor. But Paul VI G Kevin Dorsey is a name being thrown around recently as a very real target for the Terps, and Gonzaga G Bryant Crawford has become a big name for them as well. Regardless, Maryland’s only real foreseeable hole is in the backcourt.
The Terps could also use a backup to Carter Jr. in the frontcourt, as Cekovksy is still an unproven commodity, and a true small forward. Right now, Maryland wants to address that with forward Esa Ahmad (Shaker Heights), G-F Joshua Reaves (Oak Hill), or guard-forward Chris Clarke (Cape Henry Collegiate). Reaves and Clarke are similar high motor wing defenders, whereas Ahmad is more of a power forward.