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Turgeon, Terps excited for Wells to join team

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Turgeon, Terps excited for Wells to join team

When Dez Wells first heard the news that the NCAA would allow him to play this year for the Maryland Terrapins, his face lit up in a smile. As the news set in, Wells realized the importance of the NCAA's decision, and hugs and tears filled the room. 

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon explained that the scene in the room was emotional, and eventually those emotions turned into excitement.

"Obviously we're thrilled. We're thrilled for Dez," Turgeon said. The coach explained that he was very proud of the athletic administration at Maryland for continuing to fight for Wells, and that all parties involved -- coaches, players and administration -- worked hard to arrive at today's news. 

"I believed in Dez and I believed in my administration," Turgeon said.

Wells transferred to Maryland this season after playing his freshman season at Xavier University. Typically a transfer player is forced to sit out a season, but Maryland requested that the rule be waived in Wells' case. Maryland was first denied that waiver, but the circumstances for Wells were unique. His expulsion from Xavier University amid sexual assault allegations had many question marks -- an Ohio grand jury decided not to press charges against Wells, and the Xavier administration was later admonished for their handling of the situation --and the Terps appealed the NCAA's initial decision. 

"I wasn't surprised because I was in on the beginning of this," Turgeon said of the NCAA decision. "Once they had all the facts I wasn't surprised. I would have been surprised if it went the other way."

His comments were a far cry from some previous eligibility issues that former Maryland coach Gary Williams encountered. In those days, Williams and former athletic director Debbie Yow often bumped heads, and Williams did not always think he had the full support of the athleitc administration. Turgeon's experience sounded completely different from those days, and he personally thanked and saluted many of the athletic department staff who fought for Wells' eligibility. 

Now that Wells is eligible, the Terps immediately improve on the court. Wells, a 6'5", 215 lb. slasher that averaged almost 10 points and five rebounds as a freshman, gives Turgeon depth and an explosive athlete. 

"Dez is a good player," the coach said. He listed toughness and experience as two of Wells best qualities. In his freshman season at Xavier, Wells played on a team that went to Sweet 16. That experience gives other Maryland players confidence too, Turgeon explained. 

"He understands what it takes," Turgeon said. "He helps us in a lot of ways. He gives every player more confidence."

Senior forward James Padgett echoed Turgeon's comments.

"He makes us a much better team," Padgett said. "We're all excited for him."

Now that Wells eligibility issue has been settled, Maryland must focus on its next challenge: the Kentucky Wildcats. Maryland faces No. 3 ranked Kentucky Friday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. It will be a big stage for many of Turgeon's young players. 

"Our guys will be juiced up," Turgeon said, and he added a joke that the players won't know how to react when they see famous college basketball announcer Dick Vitale.

Despite any first game jitters, Wells makes the Terrapins a better team. Many pundits now project Maryland as an NCAA Tournament team with his addition. Even with the good news, Turgeon wanted to keep expectations in check. 

"Let's be realistic here," Turgeon said when talking about Kentucky. Wildcats coach John Calipari assembled another top notch recuriting class, with many players expected to leave college early for the NBA. But regardless of the outcome from the Kentucky game, Turgeon has postseason expectations for the 2012-2013 Terps.

Turgeon said he does expect Maryland to be a good team this season, though when that will happen remains a question.

"Do I expect us to be a really good team at some point this year? Yes I do," he said. "I think our young kids will grow up quickly. I think we have great depth." 

Wells is in great shape, Turgeon said, and though the coach would not comment on his starting five for Kentucky, most people around the Terps program expect Wells to start or get starter-type minutes.

With a nine or ten-man rotation that will lean heavily on freshmen and sophomores, the Terps may be a work in progress early in the season. But Turgeon and the players all seem confident that having Wells on the court will have a positive impact. 

"This definitely gives us a chance to be a better team than we would have been without him," Turgeon said. 

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D.J Moore scores 3 TDs to help Maryland roll past Towson

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D.J Moore scores 3 TDs to help Maryland roll past Towson

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  -- True freshman Kasim Hill threw two touchdown passes in his starting debut, Ty Johnson ran for two long scores and Maryland cruised past in-state foe Towson 63-17 on Saturday.

D.J. Moore scored three touchdowns -- on catches of 9 and 34 yards, along with a 21-yard run -- to help the Terrapins (2-0) maintain the momentum created by their season-opening 51-41 win at Texas.

It's the first time in school history that Maryland has started with two straight 50-point games. The 63 points were the most scored by the Terps since they crushed Missouri 74-13 in 1954.

Hill took over for injured starter Tyrrell Pigrome in the third quarter against Texas and completed his only three passes. He started 8 for 8 in this one and was 13 for 16 for 163 yards before watching the fourth quarter from the sideline.

Two touchdowns by Moore and a 74-yard run by Johnson put Maryland in front 21-0 after nine minutes.

Johnson's 46-yard touchdown run in the third quarter made it 35-7 and enabled him to become the fourth player in Maryland history to reach the 100-yard mark in four straight games. He finished with 124 yards on only five carries, a whopping 24.8-yard average.

The Terrapins outscored Towson (1-1) 21-0 in the third quarter, the last TD coming on an end-around by Moore in which he broke four tackles on his way to the end zone.

Towson got both its touchdowns on passes by Ryan Stover, a redshirt freshman also making his first college start.

Stover went 21 for 36 for 210 yards and two interceptions, the first of which was taken back 75 yards for a score by Darnell Savage Jr.

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5-star PG Immanuel Quickley officially removes Maryland from list; announces top 3

5-star PG Immanuel Quickley officially removes Maryland from list; announces top 3

WATCH IMMANUEL QUICKLEY'S INTERVIEW IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE

Immanuel Quickley will not be the next Maryland Terrapins star guard.

On Wednesday night, Qthe highly touted 6-3 point guard joined Rob Carlin and Brian Mitchell on CSN's SportsTalk Live and the five-star point guard from John Carroll School in Bel Air, Md. removed the Terrapins from his remaining list of schools. 

With Maryland out, Quickley's Top 3 list consists of Kentucky, Kansas and Miami, with the Wildcats being the heavy favorites.

"I am taking Maryland off my list," Quickley told CSN Mid-Atlantic's Rob Carlin on Wednesday night. "They [Maryland] haven't contacted me as much. So it only makes sense to go forward with those three."

Communication was key for the No. 1 class of 2018 recruit in Maryland. Quickley, who is ranked in the top 15 recruits in every major recruiting service, connected with Miami because of great communication.  "Miami has a great coaching staff and I really connected with them," he told CSN's Carlin. "They brought all four coaches to meet me. I think that was a big part of it in recruiting me."

"It's big, especially with the head coach. That's who is making th sub. That who is calling the plays, stuff like that." 

Communication in the recruiting process is important to Quickley, but so is the communication during development once the player hits campus. That's what stood out about Kansas. "I think they've taken players, not even like myself, players that haven't been as talented as me and gotten them to the highest level, so I think that's been a big part of what's stood out."

As for Kentucky, it's simple. John Calipari is the best recruiter in college basketball. "You just have to sit back and smile," he said of getting his first contact from Calipari and the Wildcats coaching staff. "It definitely was cool to have coach Calipari reach out to me."

But for Maryland, it's not nearly as cool. Quickley is the latest in near-gets for Maryland. Head coach Mark Turgeon recently missed out on Prentiss Hubb and Brandon Slater.

The Terps were the lone local school on Quickley's list, and Quickley has often stated that Maryland had a hometown advantage. But Turgeon and his staff had not communicated with Quickley in recent months as much as the remaining schools on his list, so the Terps once again miss out on luring a top-flight prospect to College Park.