Terrapins Eying Three Top Tier Transfers
The transfer market giveth, and the transfer market taketh away.
The Maryland Terrapins may be bringing in six new players already for the 2014 season in the Big Ten after losing six players to transfer, but they may not even be done yet. Recently, the Terrapins have been hot on the trail for three NCAA free agents that may not have an impact right away, but could pay dividends down the road: Georgia Tech’s Robert Carter Jr., Kansas’ Andrew White, and West Virginia’s Terry Henderson.
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While Henderson, White, and Carter won’t be eligible to play next season (unless something drastically changes), should they choose Maryland, they’d be set for 2015. Carter Jr. and Henderson will both take visits to Maryland, while White has expressed mild interest in Maryland. All three have a few ties to the area, but we’ll give you the skinny here on which players would be great fits for Maryland and are likely candidates to join the team.
The Likely Candidate: Robert Carter Jr., Georgia Tech
Robert Carter Jr. has been on Maryland’s radar since his high school days playing basketball in Georgia. The Terps lost out to him then, but now they’ve got a second chance at him after his dissatisfaction with Georgia Tech. Last year, despite playing injured for a large part of the season, Carter averaged 11.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game with the Yellow Jackets. Unfortunately, reports were that he and his coach did not see eye to eye.
Carter Jr. just came off a 3 day visit to the campus on the same day that Maryland’s freshmen reported to school, and reports are that it went very well. Carter reportedly played a pickup game with the team and went out to dinner with them as well. While Carter Jr. initially stated that there was a chance he could commit to Maryland immediately following his visit, it looks like he might need a bit more time.
Still, you have to like Maryland’s chances. There is a lot of chatter about Carter Jr. and his relationship with new center Trayvon Reed, whom he attended high school with. Carter Jr. also played his AAU basketball for an Under Armor team (Atlanta Xpress) that Reed was also a part of. The relationship is strong there, and it bodes well for Maryland having so many connections in the southern area.
Does he fit?
In terms of fit, Carter Jr. is a near perfect fit for the Terrapins. Carter Jr. was a near consensus five-star recruit coming out of high school, and at 6’9 has great height and length for a power forward. Carter Jr. is strong on the block too, and while he could be viewed as a power forward, he’s definitely got a little stretch four to him as well. Carter is a McDonald’s All-American, and that’s no fluke; he still has the potential to dominate in stretches.
When you look at the roster for Maryland when Carter would be eligible (2015), it’s pretty clear he would start right away for the Terps. Evan Smotrycz would be moving on, and Carter would provide an immediate upgrade down low for the Terrapins (which is saying a lot given how talented Smotrycz can be). Anytime you have the opportunity to land a player like Carter, you do it and worry about the numbers later.
Mildly Likely Candidate: Terry Henderson, West Virginia
Henderson, a 6’4 shooting guard, is another transfer that had former ties with the Terrapins from his high school days. A North Carolina native, the staff went after Henderson relatively hard in high school. Unfortunately, the numbers just didn’t work themselves out at the time and Maryland ended up losing out on him. Henderson averaged 11.7 points and shot 37% from deep last season for the Mountaineers, and played 27 minutes a game for them.
That said, Henderson is going to be heading to Maryland on a visit this weekend, and the staff is probably going to do their darndest to bring him into the fold. Henderson has stated that he’s going to take other visits including this one, so expecting a commitment at the end of his visit is probably not smart. Henderson has garnered interest from a lot of other programs as well, so this could be a long process.
Does he fit?
Henderson is an interesting fit for the Terrapins, to say the least. If one wanted to find a comparison, there’s no doubt that Nick Faust would be it because of their athleticism and bounce. Henderson is a better shooter from deep than Faust, but he’s not nearly as good a passer as Nick. But the door swings both ways on that, because Henderson isn’t going to be a major turnover machine like Faust. He is also not a volume shooter like Faust was.
Were Henderson eligible to play this season, his acquisition would be a no-brainer. Nick Faust and Seth Allen leaving would have allowed him to start right away while Dion Wiley and Jared Nickens grew up a bit. Now? It’s not as cut and dry, because Henderson will be a junior when Wiley and Nickens are sophomores, thus cutting into their minutes a bit.
On one hand, the best player should play and everyone else needs to get in line; if that’s Henderson over Wiley and Nickens, so be it. On the other hand, giving your young guys a lot of minutes is pretty important for the Terrapins, and this could create an unnecessary logjam at the shooting guard spot. Maryland got themselves into a situation like that this season, and it resulted in a lot of transfers from the program (something that doesn’t look great in the papers but is a necessary evil).
I’m a believer that the numbers work themselves out every time, so Henderson would be a nice acquisition and a sure-fire scorer for Maryland. He had an impressive Player Efficiency Rating of 18.0, and has proven himself to be a very effective, efficient scorer. That’s not something you don’t pick up if you have any roster space available. Plus, replacing Dez Wells production after next season is going to require as many options as possible as there is no direct candidate to take over his superstar spot.
Not Happening: Andrew White, Kansas
Andrew White, a 6’6 guard-forward from Charlottesville, VA, decided to leave the University of Kansas after Bill Self informed him that cracking the rotation was unlikely. As a freshman, he found himself rarely used and as a sophomore was forced to lie in wait behind freshman phenom Andrew Wiggins. Despite being a top fifty player coming out of high school, White is the epitome of what the transfer market should be used for: finding a better fit and allowing a very good player a chance to play.
White got a text from Turgeon shortly after he decided to play his ball elsewhere, and he took a visit to campus before. White also knows a few players on the team and gets the coaching staff pretty well. His main priorities are playing time, so Maryland would need to convince him to get on campus and see where he would fit in with the program.
Does he fit?
White fits at Maryland pretty well, too. A great shooter but a so-so athlete, White is a very smart player who could become an elite scorer in college if given the chance. His per-40 minutes translate well, and he’s a solid rebounder. Unfortunately, this is a lot of guesswork because in truth White hasn’t seen the court too much.
White wants to start right away but doesn’t really have the production to warrant that (though this is not his fault). If the coaching staff believes he is good enough right away, then that’s fine because they’re the experts. Still, it does feel strange giving someone a starting job right off the bat without seeing them produce at all. That doesn’t seem like something Turgeon would do.