COLLEGE PARK--By the three-minute mark of the second half on Saturday night against Pittsburgh with his team down 10 points, Dez Wells had taken just six field goal attempts.
The player who showed he could single-handedly take over a game--if you happened to forget, check back to Maryland’s win over Boston College--did not appear to be the offense’s first option despite his efficient play through 37 minutes of game time.
Then something changed.
Wells took the game into his own hands, scoring seven points in the final 2:42 of the game, helping his team to cut the deficit to as little four points with 0:08 to play.
“That’s just me saying, ‘Well, if you’re not going to do nothing, then get the hell off the court,’” Wells said after the game. “So, just trying to compete so my team can win ... I just tried to do what my team needed me to do for us to win.”
Maryland would ultimately lose, 83-79, but the comeback likely would have been made easier had the Terrapins not been kept at bay and behind by double digits for almost 80 percent of the game. But the question is why Wells was not featured more prominently before that point.
He was 4-of-6 from the floor by the three-minute mark of the second half and he was attacking the rim, countering what Pittsburgh was doing on the other end of the floor.
That comes one day after Wells stepped up and took the blame for what happened in Maryland’s collapse against NC State, an effort to shift the blame away from coach Mark Turgeon and toward himself.
“We have to have better leadership and that’s on me,” Wells said. “That’s not on Coach. That’s on me.”