Terps trying to use Marial connection to add NBA prospect
Maryland was among the first schools to reach out to Utah guard Both Gach, who entered his name into the transfer portal Monday, multiple sources reported.
The Terps are in the market for an impact guard, and Gach, a 6-foot-6 combo guard who averaged 10.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists for the Utes as a sophomore last season, is high on their list. He’s currently gathering feedback from NBA teams to decide whether he wants to enter the draft or transfer to a new school, but most expect him to do the latter as it’s unlikely he’d hear his name called on draft night. Minnesota, Arkansas, BYU, Utah State, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Creighton, Illinois, Georgetown, Oregon and New Mexico are also involved, per multiple reports.
Gach has a lot of suitors, but he has a close connection with Maryland sophomore center Chol Marial, a fellow South Sudanese native who also attended Arizona Compass Prep. The two were never teammates, but they’re currently training together in Arizona, according to a story in the Austin Daily Herald last month. A Sports Illustrated profile on Marial in January noted that Gach played a role in Marial’s decision to attend the public charter school as well.
“We have access to a gym that we use every day and we’re blessed to have that at this time. We’re trying to get better and improve,” Gach told the Austin Daily Herald in April. “I’m just hoping for the best.”
Gach played mostly off ball at Utah, but he considers himself as a point guard, a position of need for the Terps. Maryland coach Mark Turgeon could sell him on an opportunity to showcase himself as a ball handler to NBA scouts, in addition to reuniting with Marial. It also likely doesn’t hurt that Turgeon helped Marial recover from severe shin splints that had plagued him for years by arranging a surgery at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Marial played in his first meaningful games in years for the Terps last season, scoring 10 points and blocking five shots in 65 minutes.
Gach would have to sit out a year before if he transfers to another school, unless granted a waiver by the NCAA.