Dez Wells in many ways set the foundation for the future of the Maryland program by helping to stabilize the early years of Mark Turgeon’s tenure in College Park.
But he has now graduated and is focused on forging his own professional career, leaving behind him a team that could very well be No. 1 in the nation when preseason polls are released in the fall.
During a workout with the Wizards last week, Wells answered a question from CSN’s Ben Standig about whether any part of him wishes he could be a part of next year’s team.
"I'm far removed from that,” he said. “I'm happy those guys have the success coming their way, but if they learned anything from me it's that potential means nothing.
“You got to go out there and prove everybody wrong or prove everybody right who does believe in you.”
With guard Melo Trimble returning, it created a domino effect that led five-star center Diamond Stone to College Park, as well as Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon. Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter is now eligible, as well, and he could very well be a future first-round pick in the NBA Draft.
All of those factors coming together is what has Maryland in the mix with teams like North Carolina, Kansas, and Kentucky for the No. 1 preseason seed. But Wells has words of caution.
“I don't really think they should pay attention to that No. 1 preseason ranking because it's still preseason,” he said. “Just hope those guys go out there and work out as hard as they can and I know they will. If they ever need any advice, I'm always here for them.”