NCAA clears Wells to play at Maryland

jgiglio@newsobserver.comNovember 7, 2012 

A Triangle sweep was predicted at the top of the ACC basketball standings. Maryland might have something to say about that after transfer Dez Wells won his appeal with the NCAA on Wednesday.

Wells, who play at Raleigh Word of God, will be eligible to play this season for the Terrapins. Wells, a 6-5 wing who transferred from Xavier, was originally ruled ineligible by the NCAA on Oct. 26 but won his appeal on Wednesday.

In an offseason full of transfers in the ACC, Wells' case has been unique. Wells, who averaged 9.8 points and 4.9 rebounds as a freshman last season, was expelled from Xavier in August after a sexual assault arrest.

An Ohio grand jury subsequently rejected criminal charges in Wells' case but he was not allowed to return to the Cincinnati school and he transferred to Maryland. With Wells, the Terps (17-15 last season) go from the bubble team to serious NCAA tournament contender and factor in the ACC race.

The Terps, 6-10 in the ACC last season, coach Mark Turgeon's first, return a strong nucleus with sophomore forward Alex Len, sophomore guard Nick Faust and added a strong recruiting class.

The media picked N.C. State, Duke and UNC to finish in the top three spots in October. The Terps, before there was any ruling on Wells, were picked to finish sixth.

Maryland opens the season on Friday against 2012 national champion Kentucky in Brooklyn.

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