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Terps' Wells granted eligibility

Maryland's men's basketball team will have its prized transfer player just in time for the reigning national champions Friday.

Terrapins sophomore Dez Wells, who came from Xavier after he was expelled for violating the code of student conduct at the school, was granted immediate eligibility and can play against Kentucky in Brooklyn, N.Y. Wells' initial request for appeal was denied by the NCAA, but Maryland filed another appeal on his behalf.

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The NCAA Division I Legislative Council Subcommittee for Legislatve Relief overturned the original decision Wednesday.

Wells, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, was the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year after averaging 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds for Xavier. But he was expelled from the Cincinnati school earlier this year during sexual assault allegations.

Under NCAA rules a Division I transfer must sit out an entire season, but in Wells' case he'll be allowed to play whenever Maryland is ready for him.

"He gives us toughness, experience having started 32 games on a Top 25 team most of the year," Terps coach Mark Turgeon told reporters in a teleconference Wednesday afternoon. "He gives us depth and versatility. He gives every coach on our staff including me more confidence that we can be a good team."

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