NCAA

How Maryland targeting transfer Both Gach is more complicated than it seems

How Maryland targeting transfer Both Gach is more complicated than it seems

What if Maryland's men's basketball got the commitment of a high-value transfer and he never suited up in a game?

That could very well happen with the Terrapins in pursuit of Utah transfer Both Gach.

Gach is transferring from the Utes but has still kept his name in the NBA Draft process. One thing is clear, he just doesn't want to play at Utah next season. 

With Gach remaining in the draft process this late into the year, it could be unsettling for Maryland to pursue the 6-foot-6 wing with nothing guaranteed. There is no timeline on when the NBA's pre-draft process (the Combine and workouts) will begin - if they happen at all this year. Still, prospects have been able to experience some of the events that lead up to the draft. They've been allowed to get feedback and speak to teams via videoconference calls despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

He's not a prospect that many analysts project to be drafted. But most fringe prospects have already decided to go back to school at this point in the process.

Mac McClung has withdrawn his name and transferred from Georgetown to Texas Tech. Florida's Andrew Nembhard is leaving the Gators after exiting the draft process. 

It doesn't mean Gach is staying in the draft. It doesn't mean he wouldn't be a good player at Maryland or any of the other schools he is exploring. 

It does mean Gach's situation is complicated. If College Park is where he commits, there is a chance he will be a Terp. There is also a chance he could go straight to the draft if the process restarts. There has been no deadline set by the NCAA to make a decision to return or go pro. He has no ties to the program to convince him to stay in school. Only one other transfer in this offseason is in the same spot as Gach right now, Alabama's Jordan Bruner's name is still in the draft after he just transferred from Yale. 

Gach's situation gets even more confusing considering he will likely have to sit a year out due to NCAA transfer rules.

Adding a player of Gach's ability would be great no matter the roster situation. In two seasons with the Utes, he showed great athleticism and command of the floor. He's most impactful in transition and an ability to knock down threes. His final season at Utah, he averaged 10.7 points at 39.7% and 25.0% from behind the arc. 

Maryland has more than enough wings with Eric Ayala, Darryl Morsell, Aaron Wiggins, and to an extent Donta Scott and Jarius Hamilton. All would likely be on the team still if Gach had to sit a season. He would just be another one that has decent control of his dribble. He's not a point guard but would likely be the second-best ballhandler behind Ayala in terms of non-freshman. 

Think of a player with the explosiveness of Wiggins but who also can create space for himself. 

Under normal circumstances, any program will gladly take a chance and have a scholarship available for a player with that much promise. This isn't a normal offseason - coronavirus or otherwise - for Mark Turgeon and his staff. With all their misses in the transfer portal, it is tough to say it has been a good one. 

What do the optics look like for the Terrapins if Gach chooses the NBA? Or worse yet, commits to Maryland only then to stay in the draft anyway? 

Is it worth the risk given the unknown? We'll just have to wait and see what Gach decides. 

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Maryland's Big Ten title hopes go through Iowa as star Luka Garza to return for senior season

Maryland's Big Ten title hopes go through Iowa as star Luka Garza to return for senior season

The Maryland Terrapins men's basketball program clinched a share of the Big Ten regular-season title this past season, the first time the team has accomplished the feat since joining the conference in 2014.

However, the task to repeat as conference champions became a lot more difficult on Sunday, as Iowa star Luka Garza announced his intention to return to the Hawkeyes for his senior season.

The center announced his decision on Twitter on Sunday, posting a highlight video announcing his return.

Garza, the Big Ten Player of the Year a season ago, averaged 23.9 points and 9.8 rebounds for the Hawkeyes. With the 6-foot-11 center returning to Iowa, the Hawkeyes are certainly the team to beat in the conference entering the season.

The Terps already had an uphill battle to repeat as Big Ten champs, as the team's two best players from a season ago are no longer with the team. Point guard Anthony Cowan graduated from the university after a stellar four-year career, while sophomore center Jalen Smith decided to forego his final two seasons and enter the NBA Draft.

"I'm very excited to be back with my teammates and look towards winning a National Championship, winning a Big Ten championship," Garza said. "We have big goals in mind."

The news is tough for Maryland fans, as Garza is one of the many players in recent years that played their high school ball in the DMV before heading to college elsewhere. Garza, who played his high school basketball at the Maret School in Washington, D.C. just nine miles south from College Park, was never offered a scholarship by Terps head coach Mark Turgeon.

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Report: Pac-12 players threaten to sit out entire 2020 season citing safety, racial injustice concerns

Report: Pac-12 players threaten to sit out entire 2020 season citing safety, racial injustice concerns

Pac-12 football players are preparing to opt-out of the 2020 season in the event that the league doesn't address a list of concerns about racial injustice, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and other demands. 

According to ESPN, the group's goal is to "obtain a written contract with the PAC-12 that legally ensures we are offered the following protections and benefits."

The complete list of protections and benefits was not made public, however, it's been reported that "safe play amid the pandemic, fighting racial injustice, securing economic rights and fair compensation, protecting all sports and obtaining long-term health insurance," are a few of them. 

RELATED: GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY TO DISCONTINUE 7 SPORTS DUE TO CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

The Pac-12 issued a statement Saturday stating that it has yet to hear from the group — the players plan to make a public "statement of unity" and a full list of their demands as early as Sunday through traditional and social media. 

"Neither the Conference nor our university athletics departments have been contacted by this group regarding these topics," a Pac-12 statement said. "We support our student-athletes using their voice and have regular communications with our student-athletes at many different levels on a range of topics. As we have clearly stated with respect to our fall competition plans, we are, and always will be, directed by medical experts, with the health, safety and well being of our student athletes, coaches and staff always the first priority. We have made it clear that any student athlete who chooses not to return to competition for health or safety reasons will have their scholarship protected."

The Pac-12 announced its 10-game, conference-only schedule for the 2020 season on Friday.

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