Wahab, who is 6-foot-11, played two seasons with the Hoyas and became a regular starter as a sophomore. He averaged 12.7 points and 8.2 rebounds this season, making 59.1 percent of his field goal attempts.
After three seasons with NBA draft picks Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith in the frontcourt, the Terps struggled without a center this season. Maryland often played with a smaller lineup that had Donta Scott, a 6-7 forward, at that position. Wahab’s commitment should allow Scott to return to a more natural role and Maryland to match up better against Big Ten opponents.
Wahab, a native of Nigeria, is a former All-Met from Flint Hill School in Oakton. He presumably will be eligible to play next season with the NCAA reportedly expected to pass a rule that allows players to transfer once without sitting out a season.
Russell, a 5-11 point guard, spent four years at Rhode Island, scoring 1,594 points and starting for three seasons. All players received an eligibility waiver because of how the coronavirus pandemic affected their seasons, allowing Russell to pursue an additional year at another school as a graduate transfer.
This season, junior Eric Ayala and sophomore Hakim Hart handled point guard duties for the Terps, and both are expected to return. But Russell will give Turgeon a true ballhandling point guard who can facilitate and score. Russell averaged at least 14 points in each of the past three seasons, including 18.8 as a junior in 2019-20.
Russell leaves Rhode Island as the school’s all-time leader in steals. He recorded 213 in his four-year career and averaged 2.2 per game in the past three seasons. During the Rams’ 2020-21 campaign, Russell averaged 4.5 assists and 2.3 turnovers.
Russell played high school basketball with Scott at Imhotep Charter in Philadelphia. The Terps will have three players — Russell, Scott and Hart — from the Philadelphia area who could be starters next season. Russell’s given name is Daron, but he has been called “Fatts” his whole life; the nickname was given to him by his mother because “he was a chubby baby,” according to Russell’s Rhode Island bio.
Maryland doesn’t have any scholarship spots remaining, but more could open if other players leave. So far, center Chol Marial is the only Terps player who has publicly announced his intention to transfer. The Terps are set to welcome two freshmen — power forward Julian Reese and shooting guard Ike Cornish, who are four-star players from Baltimore.
Wahab and Russell are expected to play significant roles for the Terps, who are counting on the return of several key players. Guard Aaron Wiggins is likely to test the NBA draft waters but could return for his senior season. Ayala, who led the Terps in scoring last season at 15.1 points per game, should be back for his senior year. Hart and Scott, both starters, are also expected to return.
Senior guard Darryl Morsell could play a fifth year because of the NCAA’s eligibility waiver but has not revealed his plans. With the announcements from Wahab and Russell, the Terps are suddenly in a strong position as the offseason continues.