Kentucky coach John Calipari‘s program was in the mix for Dez Wells when he was forced to find a new school earlier this year.
It goes without saying he understands what sort of impact the sophomore swingman could have on Maryland, which meets Kentucky on Friday in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Wells received a waiver to play immediately for the Terrapins … which means Calipari will be the first coach forced to prepare for Wells this season.
“People don’t understand what Dez for their team,” Calipari said on a Thursday morning teleconference promoting the game, which is part of the first college basketball event at the Barclays Center. “I’m happy for [Maryland coach[ Mark [Turgeon] but even happier for Dez. This changes their team. They go from a team that was going to be good to a team that can say ‘Who in the ACC can’t we compete with?’”
Turgeon later said Wells’ presence should prove beneficial for nearly everyone in the Terps’ rotation.
“I think a lot of guys [will benefit] because Dez is the kind of guy who makes everyone better,” Turgeon said. “The post players will be better because of him. He’s good coming off ball screens and good at post feeding. I think it will help Nick Faust. He’s had a lot on his playing coming in, but this takes pressure off him.”
Turgeon also said the NCAA “really expedited” Wells’ final appeal to get it done in time for the season.
—- Patrick Stevens