“He was at another level,” Maryland Coach Mark Turgeon said of Dez Wells after the senior scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds in the Terrapins’ 60-50 win at Rutgers on Tuesday. “He was clearly the best player on the floor. And we needed him to do that for us to win.”
Wells spent much of the game on the Above The Rim level in Piscataway, where Maryland clinched a double-bye in next week’s Big Ten tournament.
In the first half, Wells ran out to contest an apparent Myles Mack three-pointer. But when the 5-foot-9 Mack pump-faked, Wells hurdled him in a display of athleticism normally reserved for dunk contests. Mack was so startled that he traveled.
With less than a minute to play in the first half, Wells drove baseline and dunked over two Rutgers defenders. The Big Ten Network didn’t show the reaction on the Maryland bench, but it was probably similar to the reaction the Terps had to a similarly impressive Wells dunk against Penn State earlier this month.
“Oh my goodness,” BTN analyst Stephen Bardo said after Tuesday’s dunk, which earned the No. 1 spot on SportsCenter’s Top Plays. “That’s bitter beer face-worthy right there. Dez Wells, making sure he got to the rim.”
After Rutgers tied the game with six minutes left, Wells scored six consecutive points, including a tough jumper off the glass and an emphatic, tomahawk dunk in transition. On most nights, either play would’ve led Maryland’s postgame highlight reel. On Tuesday, they were just two more examples of Dez Wells making the spectacular routine.