A little over a week ago we saw Orlando Antigua reel in Maryland transfer Roddy Peters. For some background on what to expect from Peters, we talked to Dave Tucker of Testudo Times, who went above and beyond in filling us in.
1. USF and Maryland both had a handful of players transfer out this offseason. Any specific reason for you guys, or were they guys who just weren't fitting in the system? Why do you think Peters, in particular, elected to transfer?
Dave Tucker: Heading into the offseason, I think it was expected that a few players might be leaving Maryland for a variety of reasons. But no one expected five scholarship guys to transfer. I don't think many were shocked about Faust leaving or Shaq Cleare. Once it became clear that Seth Allen was healthy and that Melo Trimble would be competing for point guard minutes, Roddy Peters leaving was also not a big surprise. Roddy struggled at the two this year and if he wasn't going to get time at the one, I think he wanted to go somewhere where he could run point. Ironically, had Seth Allen announced his decision to transfer earlier, it's possibly Peters might have stayed. And Charles MItchell, who just recently announced he was transferring, is doing so to be close to his sick grandmother in Georgia.
2. What kind of expectations did Peters arrive at Maryland with? Would you say he lived up to them last season?
DT: Maryland hasn't really had a solid point guard since Greivis Vasquez graduated. The lack of a solid point guard definitely hurt Maryland and prevented them from really running an effective offense. The hope was that Peters would help change that, but knowing he might not be able to be extremely effective during his freshman season.
Mark Turgeon put a lot of trust in Peters, especially after Seth Allen went down with an injury before the start of the season. Prior to Allen's injury, Peters was averaging close to 15.5 minutes per game. Once Allen returned, that dropped down to 11 minutes per game, but really diminished further as Allen got his game legs under him. A few weeks after Allen's return, Peters had a five game stretch in the middle of ACC play when he didn't log more than nine minutes, playing five or less minutes in three of those games.
I think what was particularly disappointing for Peters was his inability to score when he was on the court. He scored zero points in eight of his final fifteen games last season. During that same stretch, his highest point total was four points. He only reached double-digits in scoring three times last year, which his best offensive output coming against Boston College, when he put up 14.
He averaged just over two assists per game, but his assist to turnover ration was an uninspiring 1.12.
During his senior year of high school, Peters had to have shoulder surgery and it was clear he hadn't really recovered from being out of basketball for an extended period during his senior year. I think most expected more out of Peters this season than what he demonstrated, especially from a fan's perspective.
3. What are Peters' main strengths and weaknesses as a player? Did he run the point effectively at Maryland?
DT: Peters showed an ability to get to the basket and score, but struggled with his jump shot. He only attempted nine three pointers all season, making just one of them. He struggled at times from the free throw line as well, making just 64% of his attempts from the charity stripe.
Peters is still working on reestablishing his jump shot but once he has a secondary way to score, that should help open up his ball distribution abilities as well. Peters can definitely be a very effective point guard who can also score and I think he'll benefit tremendously from sitting out a year and working on those skills before suiting up for USF.
4. With the aforementioned transfer exodus, the closet is a little bare at USF as far as talent is concerned. It's very possible Peters will be counted on to be a big-time contributor-- if not "the guy"-- when he's eligible. Do you think he can succeed in that kind of situation?
DT: I really think Roddy could succeed in that situation, but it will all depend on how much he's able to accomplish over the next year while he sits due to NCAA transfer rules. I think Peters will be most successful once he reestablishes himself as a scorer, enhancing his passing abilities in the process.
If he can limit his turnovers and improve at the line, he could be a solid contributor for USF. I don't think he'll be a 18-20 ppg type of player, but assuming he can progress by 2015, he should be able to score 10-12 points per game while dishing out four to five assists per game.
Thanks again to Dave for his help. Stay tuned for a Q&A on USF's other incoming transfer, Marshall guard Kareem Canty.