Terps will miss Allen, but let's not get carried away

The transfer carousel at Maryland has quieted in recent weeks, though it could start moving again if Mark Turgeon can convince former Kansas swingman Andrew White to visit College Park after taking a trip to Nebraska.

But the exodus in April and May in which five former Terps left the program, and two future Terps came in, is still a topic for debate. According to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com, Turgeon had the roughest spring of any Division I coach.

Goodman blogged this week that combo guard Seth Allen was the nation’s top transfer and that in losing Allen, Nick Faust (City), Charles Mitchell, Roddy Peters and Shaquille Cleare, the Terps ranked third among teams suffering the biggest losses.

Both points seem to be a stretch.

Goodman ranked Virginia Tech as the team that benefited the most from transfers despite the fact that the 6-foot-1 Allen is the only player coming from another Division I school.

It seems ridiculous that the Hokies were ranked ahead of Ohio State, which picked up both Temple grad Anthony Lee, a power forward from Columbia who averaged nearly 14 points and nine rebounds and will be eligible to play immediately, as well as 7-footer Trevor Thompson, who will sit out after transferring from Virginia Tech.

Another team ranked below the Hokies – and thus players ranked below Allen – was Auburn, which added Antoine Mason, the nation’s leading scorer (25.6) as a fourth-year junior at Niagara, as well as Marshall point guard Kareem Canty, who averaged 16.3 points and 5.5 assists.

Allen averaged 13.2 points a game as a sophomore after missing the first 12 games with a broken foot. He said in interviews after he left Maryland that he came back before he had fully recovered. But many inside the Maryland program said he left because he didn’t want to be the second scoring option behind Dez Wells this season and didn't want to compete with freshman Melo Trimble for time at the point.

Allen's best attribute is scoring, but among other players mentioned by Goodman, Eron Harris transferred to Michigan State after averaging 17.2 points a game at West Virginia and Byron Wesley, a 6-5 wing guard, led Southern Cal in scoring (17.8) and rebounding (6.4) before going to Gonzaga.

Allen is an explosive scorer capable of putting up double digits in a few minutes, but he also on more than a few occasions was a reluctant passer, a careless ballhandler and passive defender. The addition of Trimble was going to put pressure on Allen to improve in those areas this season.     

As for ranking the Terps third among teams most impacted by transfers, behind only Oregon and West Virginia, Goodman points out that the Terps “didn’t fare quite as poorly as it looks” because Turgeon was able to add Georgia Tech power forward Robert Carter and North Carolina A&T; guard Richaud Pack.

There has been a lot of debate since the five players left about the impact it will have on Turgeon’s future, but the arrival of a top-10 recruiting class was certainly one of the big reasons a few of them left. Even Goodman said that getting Carter after losing Mitchell was an upgrade.

This is not to say that Allen won’t be missed. But to say that the talented lefty scoring guard – who apparently figured out too late that the only chance he has to make the NBA is as a point guard – is the nation’s top transfer is more than just a stretch.

It’s just not true. 


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