Well how about that for great news on a Wednesday morning? Shortly after InsideMDSports.com, of the 247Sports Network, released that they were able to confirm that Wells had his appeal heard by the NCAA yesterday and we should have a resolution in this matter today the news broke that the NCAA has deemed Wells eligible to play for Maryland this season, starting Friday night in the opener against Kentucky.
It cannot be understated how much of a boost this is for the Maryland Terrapins basketball program. While Turgeon and staff decided not to play Wells in the Terrapins exhibition games it has been plain to see in the scrimmages that have been open to the public that Wells is one very talented player, and could very well be the best player on the roster.
Mark Turgeon clearly was happy with the decision passed down by the NCAA this morning and was quoted as such in a press release distributed by the University this morning. “We’re excited forDez because at the end of the day, the NCAA made the right decision,”. Turgeon then followed that up by praising the work of his staff, “Our staff did an incredible job putting this NCAA waiver appeal together,”.
This is the culmination of a long, and presumably, pain staking experience for Dez Wells which began when he was wrongfully expelled from Xavier University on an allegation where, ultimately, charges were never filed against him. After venturing throughout the country visiting schools as quickly as possible so that a decision on his destination could be made before it was too late to register for classes Wells decided on the University of Maryland. Despite the best efforts of Wells and both the University of Maryland and Xavier University, which offered their assistance in helping Wells gain eligibility, the initial waiver request was denied. This left Wells and the university with one option; to appeal the NCAA’s ruling in hopes they would change their mind. Luckily for Wells and Terrapins fans everywhere, that is exactly what happened this morning.
Wells will be in the lineup this Friday night as the Terrapins open the 2012-2013 regular season on the national stage against the defending champions in the NBA’s newest arena, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. Presumably, Wells will be starting alongside Pe’Shon Howard, Nick Faust, James Padgett and Alex Len however as Turgeon has kept what lineup he will be going with so quiet as of late there is a good chance we won’t know for certain until opening tip Friday night.
As if this game against Kentucky hadn’t grabbed enough of the attention of the Terrapin faithful the news that Wells will be able to play this season adds onto that immensely. This has turned into a game where the Terrapins had a chance to compete to one that will prove to be tough for the Wildcats who will be starting three freshman and two sophomores Friday night. The addition to Wells to an already formidable veteran Terps lineup will add a new dimension to what this team will be able to do offensively as Wells has already shown his proficiency in getting to the rim and his ability to make shots from the outside when defenders play off of him to contain the drive.
National pundits have been saying it for weeks now, without Wells the Terrapins were an NCAA bubble team and would be middle of the pack in the ACC. With Wells available, however, this immediately transforms into a team that will not only be in the mix for an ACC title but could play their way into a high seed in the Big Dance that happens every March. Clearly it is too early to make any sort of projections like that but I can say that going into Friday nights season opener the prospects for the Terrapins just got a lot brighter.