Maryland walk-on A.J. Metz has been granted a release from the Terrapins to explore the possibility of transferring, the rising sophomore forward said Wednesday morning via text message.
Metz — a preferred walk-on from Bullis who, before suffering a broken orbital bone in his cheek that required surgery, had interest from Division I programs like Nebraska and Hawaii — only appeared in one game for Maryland this season, logging one minute and no other statistics against Virginia Tech on Feb. 1. A strong student with aspirations of becoming an orthopedic surgeon, Metz said schoolwork was behind his desire to transfer.
“The reason behind my request is that I hope to find a school where I can concentrate more on my academic goals while balancing my basketball requirements as well,” Metz said in a text. “My decision is not due to any issues related to the coaches or the MD basketball program. I had a great experience my freshman year, love my coaches and teammates, and love being a MD basketball player.”
Metz said he had a “good talk” with Coach Mark Turgeon on Tuesday, the same day three other Terps were granted their releases.
“As always, he is supportive of me,” Metz said of Turgeon. “I owe him and the other coaches a great deal of thanks for the hard work they put in with me over the last year.”
Metz said he planned to take calls and explore his options for possible destinations. He transferred to Bullis during his junior season and endured a long string of injuries that also included some knee issues and a jammed thumb.
“He never quite had the high school career he or I thought he’d have [due to injuries],” Bullis Coach Bruce Kelley said in May, when Metz committed to Maryland. “But he was still a very good player, what’s the term people use these days? ‘Value added.’ Turgeon won’t have to worry about A.J. ever missing practice or grades. He’s a good character, a good person and he’s got a good work ethic.”
Metz’s transfer leaves the Terps with 16 filled roster spots, including five walk-ons if Jonathan Graham is counted. Of that group, only Conner Lipinski is not a senior.