In the wake of news Friday that freshman center Trayvon Reed would not enroll at Maryland following an arrest this week, the focus shifts to what remains of the Terrapins’ frontcourt.
At the center of that stands sophomore Damonte Dodd.
Depleted by transfers, including the losses of Charles Mitchell and Shaquille Cleare, and dotted with question marks, namely aligning some of its hopes with the development of international prospect Michal Cekovsky, Maryland now finds itself in a different spot than it did at the start of the week.
The 6-11 Dodd, who appeared in 22 games last season while averaging 0.7 points and 1.5 rebounds per game, was one half of Maryland’s two-man 2013 recruiting class.
But how will he develop now that he will presumably be seeing more minutes in the rotation? Head coach Mark Turgeon spoke to Comcast SportsNet in June about his progression.
“Damonte had a great spring,” he said. “Physically he has gotten a lot stronger and he continues to be a great kid for us.
“Big guys come at different times. Damonte’s starting, you know, you could see it toward the end of the year and you could see it in the spring he’s starting to figure it out, which is good for him.”
The end of last season to which Turgeon is referring includes a six-point, four-rebound game in a loss to N.C. State and, though the stat line didn’t reflect it, a solid outing in a loss to Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Dodd has a defined set of skills right now and the coaching staff knows it. They’re building blocks, not components of a finished product, so what it will mean for Maryland in 2014 isn’t yet clear.
“Damonte’s a kid that just wants to go out there and defend and rebound, block shots, run the floor, you know, get baskets when he can and so it’s nice to have guys like that that aren’t demanding the ball,” Turgeon told CSN.
“Damonte might turn into that someday, but right now he just wants to be part of something special which those kids are fun to coach.”
Dodd will join Cekovsky as a relative unknown quantity in the rotation, along with seniors Jonathan Graham and Evan Smotrycz. The latter two are both listed at 6-9 or shorter.
And that’s it for Maryland’s power forward and center positions. Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter, Jr. will not be eligible to play until 2015-16, in accordance with NCAA rules, and forward Jake Layman is a perimeter player, not an asset in the paint.
That means an offense that was already planning to score the majority of its points from outside the paint will now see that plan amplified.
Layman, Smotrycz, freshman Melo Trimble, and senior Dez Wells are all capable outside shooters and that may be the main source of their scoring in Turgeon’s secondary break offense.