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Jalen Smith to return to Maryland for sophomore season

The Terrapin’s star freshman decides to return to Maryland to help 2020 draft stock.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Maryland Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, multiple reports surfaced that had some exciting news for the Maryland Terrapins. He reported that forward Jalen Smith would be not declaring for the 2019 NBA Draft and will return to the team for his sophomore season. This is big news for the Terrapins as the program tries to build off this season’s NCAA Tournament appearance.

As Thomas Beindit wrote earlier this offseason, this probably wasn’t unexpected. Smith was seen in some NBA Draft boards, but ultimately decided to stay and try to improve his stock for the 2020 NBA Draft with another year at College Park in Maryland.

During his career so far with Maryland, Smith has played in a total of 33 games, including some key NCAA Tournament games last month. Moreover, he averaged an impressive 11.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 0.9 assists per game during last season. Smith’s length often gave him an advantage over defenders allowing crafty scoring and an advantage rebounding.

For Maryland, this figures to be a pretty significant return. Smith was apart of the 2018-19 Big Ten All-Freshman Team along with boasting a huge threat for the Terrapins on the offensive glass. Smith recorded forty percent of his total rebounds on the offensive side of the ball. Fans are glad to see him return while they still fear the possible departure of Bruno Fernando who has yet to announce his decision for next season.