Maryland Basketball
(Mike Carter/USA TODAY Sports)

Maryland Basketball Lands Two Big-Time Transfers

It was a big day for Maryland Basketball in the transfer portal. Head coach Mark Turgeon secured commitments from two players who should be able to contribute right away. Since the news, the Terrapins have been getting buzz as a potential top-10 preseason team for the 2021-22 college basketball season. Here’s a look at what each transfer brings to College Park.

Qudus Wahab – Georgetown

Wahab is a 6’11” center who joins the Terrapins after a solid sophomore year with Georgetown. The former three-star prospect averaged 12.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, and almost two blocks per game this past season on 59.1% shooting. He announced his commitment via his Instagram. Wahab was a major part of Georgetown’s run to the Big East Tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth. After a season without a true presence down low because of the departure of Jalen Smith, UMD will welcome Wahab with open arms. Chol Marial will leave the Maryland frontcourt through the transfer portal, so Wahab’s commitment addresses a key position of need.

The presence of Qudus Wahab alone should make Maryland all the more dynamic on both offense and defense. A 2020 transfer exodus caused a lack of frontcourt depth and forced them to play a small-ball lineup where Donta Scott got minutes at center. Scott held his own, but it was clear that he was playing out of position and that the Terps needed a true big man down low.

Fatts Russell – Rhode Island

Less than an hour after Wahab’s commitment, senior Rhode Island guard Fatts Russell announced he too would be joining the Terrapins roster. Russell averaged 14.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and just under two steals per game this season. He had a fairly inefficient year from the field, shooting 33.7% overall and 23.5% from three. These percentages were each significantly down from Russell’s junior year where he averaged 18.8 points per game.

While shooting consistency is certainly a concern here, Russell is a dynamic player who is capable of taking over games when he catches fire. His defense is also a clear fit on a UMD squad that stayed competitive this year with their defensive effort. Fatts Russell qualified for an Atlantic 10 All-Defensive Team and two All-Atlantic 10 Teams during his stint with the Rams. Maryland fans can expect to see Russell get significant minutes at point guard next season, or he may play off-ball and see some run at the two depending on the personnel Turgeon brings back.

Outlook for Maryland Basketball

The big transfer news comes just a day after it was announced that head coach Mark Turgeon would be signed to an extension at UMD. Turgeon made good on his extension right away with the commitments of Wahab and Russell.

Their success in the transfer portal has many labeling the Terrapins as a potential top-10 preseason team for 2021-22. Of course, this depends on a few looming player decisions. Reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Darryl Morsell will ideally return for his extra year of eligibility. Aaron Wiggins could potentially declare for the 2021 NBA Draft, but he is currently expected to return as well.

It’s a long offseason and many rosters are subject to change, but things are currently looking up for Maryland Basketball.

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