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Maryland 2014-15 Preview: The Guards

An intriguing mix of veterans and newcomers will run the backcourt for Maryland this year.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

From Juan Dixon to Greivis Vasquez, Big Ten fans have always been able to watch excellent Maryland guards from afar, but now things get up close and personal. Just like the ACC days, the Terps enter the Big Ten with a talented backcourt that is more than capable of taking the program into the NCAA Tournament. With this program, though, reality doesn't always live up to expectations. Can this group live up to the hype in 2014-15?

The Starters

Dez Wells is the leader of this bunch, and some Big Ten fans may know him well by now. He led Maryland in scoring last year with 14.9 points per game and handed out 2.2 assists per game while sharing the distributor role with Seth Allen. Allen has since transferred to Virginia Tech, but Wells should still be able to play off the ball often thanks to the addition of highly touted freshman Melo Trimble. With the new kid on board, Wells should be able to continue attacking the rim and breaking down defenses while threatening to lead the Big Ten in scoring.

Even though he's just a kid (with a baby face to prove it), Trimble is a very important cog in the Terrapin machine this season. As a five-star recruit from Upper Marlboro, MD, Trimble is considered a combo guard but with good enough passing and dribbling skills to open the campaign as the starting point guard for head coach Mark Turgeon. If Trimble lives up to the hype, the Maryland attack is looking good with Wells and some great shooting from the frontcourt. If he fails, Wells will probably have to man the point and the team will find itself hurting from the departures of Allen and Nick Faust.

The Bench

Fortunately, Trimble was not the only addition that Turgeon made to the backcourt in the offseason. Richaud Pack has transferred from North Carolina A&T and is eligible to play in this, his senior year. Coming off of a season in which he scored 17.0 points per game and shot 38.2 percent from three-point range in the MEAC, Pack is expected to come off the bench for Maryland in 2014-15. Even if he doesn't replicate his success from last year (he won't), Pack should be a reliable sixth man for the Terps who can stretch the floor and relieve Wells for a few minutes in each game.

Another secondary scorer for Maryland could be Dion Wiley. Like Trimble, Wiley is a local freshman who can have a big impact on the Terps right out of the gate. Wiley is taller and longer than Trimble, and he's considered a strong scorer, especially from long range. Although Wiley is less experienced than Pack, look for him to serve a similar role as a spark off the bench in 2014-15.