ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas said Friday that the exodus of players at Maryland is probably more a reflection on the current landscape of college basketball than it is on the type of program third-year Terps coach Mark Turgeon is running.
“There are more transfers than ever. The reasons don’t always seem to make sense to us who think we know the reasons why kids should stay in school, stick it out, work through things,” Bilas said in a telephone interview shortly after news broke that Seth Allen is transferring.
“Years ago, this wouldn’t have seemed like an issue. If you don’t play in a position, if you have to make a sacrifice, if you have the ball in your hands or don’t have the ball, now it’s more acceptable to transfer. You don’t want to overuse the word culture, [but] even players in AAU jump from one team to another with no rhyme or reason.”
Bilas said the reasons given for rising senior guard Nick Faust (City), rising junior center Shaquille Cleare and rising sophomore guard Roddy Peters all leaving Maryland last month “were explainable, things you wouldn’t bat at eye at.”
Faust signed with Oregon State this week to be more of a scorer, while Cleare signed with Texas last week knowing that his playing time at Maryland was going to continue to decline with the addition of 7-footers Trayvon Reed and Michal Cekovsky.
Still, the decision of Allen to leave and possibly junior forward Charles Mitchell to follow is bit more perplexing, given the fact that both were going to go back to playing their natural positions next season. Allen was expected to play shooting guard with the arrival of Melo Trimble, and Mitchell would go back to power forward after having play mostly center as a sophomore.
Bilas believes that Allen, a rising junior guard who was second on the team in scoring, is a talented player “who requires the ball in his hands all the time [to score].” Bilas thinks that the Terps, who finished 17-15 in their last season in the ACC, can be successful next season in the Big Ten without the four – and possibly – five players who will not be there.
“Sometimes when guys leave that are not happy, it improves things, “ Bilas said. “It improves the situation for the guy that leaves and it improves the situation for the environment he leaves behind."