Rising senior wing Nick Faust (City), rising sophomore point guard Roddy Peters (Suitland) and rising junior big man Shaquille Cleare have all been granted releases from their scholarships and will transfer from the University of Maryland, head coach Mark Turgeon announced Tuesday.
Faust averaged 9.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and two assists per game in 2014 and was named the team’s top defensive player at their end of season banquet. He played in 102 games for the Terrapins over his three seasons (making 66 starts). Faust was originally recruited to Maryland by Gary Williams’ staff but was considered a priority by Turgeon and re-committed in large part due to his relationship with assistant coach Bino Ranson, who was retained after the coaching change.
Peters averaged just over four points and two assists in his freshman campaign last year after joining the Terps as a highly touted recruit from the DC area. Peters’ commitment came in large part because of the work former Turgeon assistant Dalonte Hill did in recruiting. Cleare averaged just three points and 2.5 rebounds during his sophomore season and has been considered a disappointment after being a highly coveted recruit from the Houston area.
“I really enjoyed coaching Nick, Shaq and Roddy,” Turgeon said in a statement. “It is unfortunate that they will no longer be a part of the program. I wish them the very best in their future endeavors.”
There had been rumors that Cleare and Faust were considering transfers for weeks after the end of the Terrapins’ season. Peters is the only “surprise” of the group, but he did not develop the way many expected during the course of his freshman campaign and his relationship with Hill could certainly have played a role in the decision.
All three players also appeared to be in risk of losing minutes in 2014-2015 due to a regarded class of incoming freshman. Incoming PG Romelo Trimble was expected to compete for a starting job early on, leaving Peters’ playing time at least somewhat in doubt. Incoming guards Dion Wiley and Jared Nickens could compete for playing time behind rising senior Dez Wells and rising juniors Seth Allen and Jake Layman at the wing positions. Cleare would have been battling for playing time against incoming freshman Trayvon Reed and Michal Cekovsky as well as rising junior Charles Mitchell, rising senior Evan Smotrycz and rising sophomore Damonte Dodd.
Rising senior F Jonathan Graham (Calvert Hall) and rising senior G Varun Ram were also on scholarship in 2013-2014, they could fill out Maryland’s available scholarships for 2014-2015 or Mark Turgeon could continue recruiting incoming freshmen or potential transfers.
While depth could have played a role in the Terps’ decisions to transfer, Maryland will be counting on freshmen to play major roles next season. The Terps will have just five players on the roster who have played significant roles previously at the college level in Wells, Allen, Layman, Smotrcz and Mitchell.
NOTE: ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman reported Tuesday that new Boston College coach Jim Christian is indeed “on the verge” of hiring Maryland assistant Scott Spinelli as reports had indicated he would Monday.