Even before sophomore point guard Seth Allen broke his foot in practice Tuesday night, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon had toyed with the idea of giving Dez Wells more time running the team
Turgeon had started doing it the day after a private scrimmage against Villanova a couple of weeks ago and again at a public intrasquad workout Saturday at Comcast Center.
"He has been our vocal leader, for him to run the point is kind of a natural for him," Turgeon said Friday.
Wells will start at point guard Sunday when the Terps hold their lone exhibition game in College Park against Division III Catholic University and when Maryland opens the season Nov. 8 against Connecticut in Brooklyn.
"After our private scrimmage, I realized that I needed to teach Roddy [Peters] multiple spots and I needed another point guard, so we started practicing Dez at the point, so he's really far along with that," Turgeon said.
There was speculation when Allen got hurt that Peters would assume the starting job. Turgeon quickly quashed that, texting reporters that Wells would move to point.
"It would have been nice for Roddy [to start]. He's a tough kid. He wants to be thrown in the fire. He doesn't want to be sitting on the bench," Turgeon said. "But he's coming, he's a good player."
Wells said he played the point in high school as well as on the AAU circuit. He added that playing it at Maryland, as he did in spots last season, "isn't a big adjustment."
"Even when I was playing off the ball [last year] I was helping Seth,"he said.
Wells said he spoke some friends who play the position -- including a perennial NBA All-Star.
"A lot of influential people," he said with a smile.
Though he didn't mention him by name, one of those Wells talked with was Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul, whose AAU team Wells played on in their native North Carolina.
Turgeon said switching Wells to point guard is for "right now," meaning that Peters might eventually take over a starting role depending on his development. But Turgeon said he could see Wells being a point guard in the NBA.
Turgeon said that when Peters plays, "he's going to have to play through mistakes, like Nick [Faust] did as a freshman. He's going to have to play. He's going to have to play a little bit smarter with the ball."