Maryland’s depth suffered a major hit when Dion Wiley went down with a season-ending injury last summer.
Over a year later, Wiley appears to be back and thriving in the Terrapin backcourt.
Wiley missed the entire 2015-16 season with a torn meniscus that he suffered last August. The former Potomac (Md.) standout could’ve returned in time for the NCAA Tournament, but coach Mark Turgeon didn’t want to burn his medical redshirt.
The former four-star guard averaged 4.1 points and 1.5 rebounds as a reserve during his freshman campaign. Wiley shot just 32.9 percent from beyond the arc, which was definitely one of his major selling points coming out of high school.
In Saturday’s exhibition game against Catawba College, Wiley scored 12 points (4-of-7 shooting) and connected on a pair of shots from beyond the arc.
Wiley is coming to be a huge part of Maryland’s roster this season for several reasons.
First of all, Wiley is a huge threat to score from the perimeter.
As was mentioned above, Wiley is a well-established marksman from beyond the three-point line. He has the quickness to get to a spot and catch-and-shoot at a moment’s notice.
Wiley’s quickness also allows him to get to the rim at an alarming rate.
For example, with 11:10 remaining in the first half against Catawba College, Wiley was coming off hitting a beautiful stepback jumper. On the other end, Kevin Huerter grab a missed shot right under the basket and pushed the ball up the court before dishing it off to Wiley right across the timeline.
Wiley then blew by the only Indian in his path and converted the easy layup. The play was made possible due to his explosion as soon as he received the basketball.
As talented as Wiley is on the offensive end, his defense has really come a long way.
One of the biggest attributes that Wiley possesses is his size.
He’s able to use his length to make shots extremely difficult for opposing guards when they drive to the rim. Wiley also can extend out and chase players off the three-point line.
It’s unclear who Turgeon will start as his two-guard. He did elect to roll with Anthony Cowan and Melo Trimble in his starting backcourt, but that was merely a dress rehearsal for Friday’s opener.
Wiley played 17 minutes on Saturday and Turgeon may not throw him a large amount of minutes right off the bat. However, even if he’s coming off the bench, Wiley can bring that scoring punch that the Terps are definitely going to need this season.