In Maryland's first season in the Big Ten they surprised many with a 14-4 overall record in the Big Ten, placing them second in the conference. The Terrapins made their first NCAA Tournament since 2010 and lost in the Round of 32 to West Virginia. Next year, Head Coach Mark Turgeon will look to build on this success and the first step will be replacing the production lost in the Terrapins 2015 graduating class.
Who is graduating?
Maryland will lose four seniors who had an impact on the 2014-2015 season, all of whom started their collegiate careers elsewhere, including standout Dez Wells. After transferring from Xavier following his freshman year, Wells has started three years under Mark Turgeon. Wells was the clear leader of the team and had his best season this year averaging a career high 15.1 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game.
Richaud Pack only played one season for the Terrapins after transferring from North Carolina A&T State (NCAT). His senior season was disappointing as he averaged just 5.8 points per game on 39% shooting after averaging 17 points per game the previous season for NCAT.
Evan Smotrycz, a Michigan transfer, struggled staying healthy in his second season with Maryland, as he sustained a broken foot and a hairline fracture in his thumb. This forced his production to take a step back from his junior year when he averaged 11 points per game, as he scored just 4.7 points off the bench his senior season for the Terrapins.
Finally, Jonathan Graham, a Penn State transfer, also in his second season with Maryland, never found consistent playing time in his career with Maryland, which was highlighted by a 16 point performance against his former Nittany Lions in early February. Graham played just 4 total minutes in Maryland's two NCAA tournament games this season.
How will Maryland replace them?
With the news that leading scorer Melo Trimble will stay in school after his freshman season and the return of forward Jake Layman, Maryland will have high expectations for their 2015-2016 campaign. The main gap to fill is the one left by Dez Wells. Rising sophomores Jared Nickens and Dion Wiley will have a chance to play more minutes next year and incoming Junior College commit Jaylen Brantley will have an opportunity to play an important role in his first year at Maryland. The Terrapins will see a major boost in paint production next year with the arrival of 5-star center Diamond Stone. The development of Stone will play a major factor in whether or not the Terrapins can once again challenge for the Big Ten title. Robert Carter, who had to sit out the 2014-2015 season following his transfer from Georgia Tech will also provide a scoring boost in the front-court for the Terrapins. With Melo Trimble running the point with a year of experience under his belt and Layman and Stone being major contributors offensively, the 2015-2016 Terrapins should be able to replace the graduating seniors and have the potential to surpass the accomplishments the 2014-2015 team achieved.