Former Maryland guard Nick Faust, a Baltimore native who requested a release from his hometown school to seek a fresh start elsewhere, will transfer to Oregon State, according to his father Anthony.
A rising senior with one semester remaining until he can graduate, Faust will have to sit out a full season per NCAA transfer regulations before regaining his eligibility. He will finish his college career in 2015-16. The Beavers, who had previously recruited Faust when he was a local star at Baltimore City High School, beat the Terrapins in College Park this season, 90-83, in front of President Barack Obama. Faust and his family visited campus this past weekend, and he decided to offer his commitment Tuesday night.
“It’s like a burden lifted off the kid,” Anthony Faust said. “I’ve never seen him this happy before. He’s excited. He wants to go work out again. He’s got a lot of energy for the game like he’s had from day one.”
At Maryland, Faust averaged 9.3 points per game over three seasons as a high-volume scorer equally capable of electric sequences and head-scratching ones. He accepted a more defense-oriented role this season, serving mostly as a sixth man off the bench, and scored a career-high 20 points against Wake Forest on Feb. 18. Still, Faust arrives at a somewhat tenuous and unstable situation, where Coach Craig Robinson’s job security remains in jeopardy and the Beavers graduate their top three scorers from last season, including guard Roberto Nelson (20.7 points per game).
“Oregon State recruited Nick from day one coming out of high school,” Anthony Faust said. “After looking at Craig Robinson’s program and having several conversations with Craig Robinson early on in Nick’s career, before he even committed to go to any college, Craig Robinson was the type of guy I thought Nick would have been a better fit for, but that’s just my opinion.
“[Nick] did everything on his own. He’s a man now. He needs to make his own decisions in life. If he felt comfortable, I support his decision. I haven’t had any in-depth conversations with coach Robinson but I will in the next couple of days. I don’t think it’s about being the man. I think it’s displaying your talents to the fullest.”
A former all-ACC freshman and a four-star recruit out of high school, Faust will arrive on campus alongside a three-man freshman class and Gary Payton II, a junior college guard and son of the former Beavers legend of the same name.
“We are really pleased to get a player of Nick’s abilities, demeanor and history,” Robinson said in a news release. “It’s almost as if our recruitment of him never stopped once we picked it back up. We are very excited. It’s going to be great for our guys, because they really enjoyed his visit. We are really looking forward for him to get here and start competing with our players.”
Faust follows center Shaq Cleare as the second Maryland transfer to pick his destination after Cleare signed with Texas this week. Point guard Roddy Peters, a Suitland High graduate, has not yet chosen a new home. His mother, Jamena, said in a text message that the family was still mulling over his options and might reach a decision within the next several weeks.
Faust refused comment when reached by text message. His transfer paperwork at Oregon State is currently being processed through compliance, according to a source.