2014-15 Player Review: Dez Wells


Dez Wells will continue our Player Review series on key members of the Terrapins men’s basketball team. Wells was one of the top reasons for Maryland’s success this year. Here’s my assessment of Wells’ play:

2014-15 In Review:

Wells has had an interesting college career to say the least. After a very productive freshman campaign at Xavier, Wells had some legal troubles before ultimately having his name cleared. After one season at Xavier, he hit the transfer market with Kentucky, Memphis, and Oregon being the top suitors in addition to the Terps. After making several visits, Wells ended up in College Park and had the potential of the guard that Maryland needed. After two somewhat inconsistent seasons with the Terps, Wells really had himself a magical season this year.

Wells started off the year with a strong five-game stretch to open the season as he averaged 16.2 points-per-game and 4.8 rebounds-per-game. In the CBE Classic in Nov. against the likes of Arizona State and Iowa State, Wells netted 14 points in each game, but it wasn’t without a significant cost. In the Iowa State game, Wells suffered a broken wrist that would end up sidelining him for seven games. This was expected to be a huge blow to the Terps, since the length of the injury was significant. However, Maryland went 6-1 without Wells with their only loss being to Virginia in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

On Dec. 27, Wells returned against Oakland and chipped in 10 points in 22 minutes in his first game back. It really took quite a few games for Wells to get back into game form. On Feb. 4, Wells began his offensive tear against Penn State in a 64-58 win in which he scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds. For the remainder of the regular season and the Big Ten Tournament, the Raleigh native averaged 18 ppg and 6.4 rpg in the remaining 11 games before the NCAA Tournament. He topped the 20-point mark four times during that stretch, including a dominant 26-point effort in Maryland’s upset victory over Wisconsin on Feb. 24.

More from Maryland Men's Basketball

The season may not have ended the way Wells would’ve wanted. In the final game of the season against West Virginia, the senior guard suffered through foul trouble and only ended up with nine points (3-of-8 shooting). Wells ended up with five fouls and struggled without guard Melo Trimble in the starting lineup. He was one of several Terps that struggled to find their offensive groove against the Mountaineers tough defense. If you take out the West Virginia game, Wells had a phenomenal seconds half to the season and was one of the top reasons that Maryland ended up being so successful this year.

The Good:

One of the top attributes that Wells displayed during his senior season is his leadership. Wells displayed this a great deal in the upset win against Wisconsin as he got after his teammates in the second half. He challenged Trimble to be better and Trimble responded by scoring the final six points of the game to lead the Terps to victory. Wells was a phenomenal leader for Maryland and also led by example in his offensive performance down the stretch.

Who can forget Wells’ proclaimation about Badgers forward Frank Kaminsky:

Much like Trimble, Wells is an above-average rebounder for a guard. Wells averaged at least four rebounds per season in every season during his collegiate career. He only had one game (against Oakland) where he only had one rebound. Wells also registered five or more rebounds in 16 games, which is very impressive for a guard. Wells is the prototypical two-guard that could translate at the NBA level if with the right team. His rebounding prowess coupled with his scoring ability is a lethal combination.

The Bad:

When you have a player that is a natural born scorer like Wells, turnovers are expected at times. However, the Raleigh native had his worst season in that department during the 2014-15 campaign. Wells turned over the basketball 3.3 times per game this past season, including a mind-numbing eight giveaways in Maryland’s Third Round loss to West Virginia. Wells had three or more turnovers in 17 games this season. A guy like Wells that slashes his way to the basket is bound to cough the ball up a bit, but his turnover rate is definitely going to be cut down at the NBA level. As a freshman, Wells only turned the ball over 1.3 times a game. Now that was in only 26.1 minutes-per-game, but it’s clear that Wells is capable of being careful with the basketball. It could be one of the huge keys for the Maryland guard to make an impact in the professional ranks.

Overall Grade: B+

Wells had a phenomenal season for the Terps this year. Without his dominant performances down the stretch, Maryland definitely wouldn’t have finished second in the Big Ten. Wells’ showing against a powerhouse and now Final Four squad like Wisconsin proved that he can be a guard that can fill up the scoring column. Wells scored and rebounded with ease, and could have his jersey hanging from rafters of the Xfinity Center one day.