Wahab, 6 feet 11, played two seasons with the Hoyas and became a regular starter in his sophomore year. In the 2020/21 season he averaged 12.7 points with 8.2 rebounds per game, which corresponds to 59.1 percent of his field goal attempts.
After three seasons with NBA draft picks Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith on the forecourt of Maryland, the Terps had problems without a center last season. Maryland often played with a smaller line-up that Donta Scott, a 6-7 forward, had in that position. Wahab’s engagement should allow Scott to return to a more natural role, and Maryland should do better to hold their own against the Big Ten opponents.
Wahab is from Nigeria and played high school ball at Flint Hill School in Virginia. He is expected to play for the NCAA next season. He is reportedly expected to adopt a new rule that allows players to switch once without missing a season.
Russell, a 5-11 point keeper, spent four years in Rhode Island, scoring 1,594 points and starting for three seasons. All players were given an eligibility waiver as the coronavirus pandemic affected their playing times, allowing Russell to take an extra year at another school as a graduate transfer.
Last season, Junior Eric Ayala and sophomore Hakim Hart took over the point guard duties for the Terps. Both are expected to return next season. But Russell will give Turgeon a real ball-handling point guard who can facilitate and score. Russell averaged at least 14 points per game over the past three seasons, highlighted by his grade of 18.8 points per game as a junior in 2019-20.
Russell leaves Rhode Island as the school’s absolute leader in theft. He recorded 213 during his four-year career and averaged 2.2 per game over the last three seasons. During the Rams 2020-21 campaign, Russell had 4.5 assists and 2.3 sales per game.
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 first name is Daron, but he was called “Fatts” all his life, a nickname his mother gave him because “he was a chubby baby,” according to Russell’s Rhode Island biography.
Wahab and Russell will both play significant roles for the Terps, which are expected to return 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 last season with 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 due to the NCAA eligibility waiver, but he hasn’t announced his plans yet. With the announcements from Wahab and Russell, the Terps are suddenly in a strong position as the off-season continues.