Maryland’s Jalen Smith taken 10th by Suns in NBA draft

Smith took an important soar after his freshman yr, when he used to be nonetheless a lanky youngster who embodied his nickname, “Stix.” During the offseason, Smith evolved bodily, and all through the season he proved he may just fit up towards the convention’s highest large males. Smith stepped forward in just about each and every statistical class as a sophomore, and he in particular evolved as a three-point shooter. He made 28 of 68 three-point makes an attempt (41.2 %) all through convention play. Smith used to be the one participant within the nation to file no less than 60 blocks and 30 three-pointers.

“I couldn’t be happier for Jalen and his circle of relatives this night,” Trainer Mark Turgeon stated in a commentary. “Jalen entered our program with a plan and put within the paintings to show his dream right into a truth. To be decided on within the best 10 makes it that a lot more particular. I don’t have any doubt Jalen is destined for good stuff and will’t wait to peer what’s in retailer for the longer term.”

As a freshman, Smith performed along ahead Bruno Fernando, now with the Atlanta Hawks, who ceaselessly carried the burden when Maryland wanted a dominant power within the paint. Fernando left for the NBA after the 2018-19 season, however Smith made up our minds towards checking out the NBA draft waters. He returned to School Park and briefly shifted his focal point towards the offseason paintings.

Whilst Smith confirmed flashes of his possible as a freshman, he was a constant performer for the Terps all through his 2d collegiate season. In 31 video games, Smith’s manufacturing best dipped underneath 10 issues on 3 events. He scored no less than 15 issues in 18 video games. Maryland had some intensity considerations on the heart place, however Smith’s talent to stick out of foul bother saved that from turning into a big factor.

Smith, in addition to senior level guard Anthony Cowan Jr., led the Terps to the highest of the Large Ten final season, which used to be the primary time Maryland received a percentage of a convention name since 2010, and Smith performed an integral position in numerous key wins.

At the street towards Indiana, Smith scored the go-ahead layup with 14 seconds left within the recreation. Moments later, when Trayce Jackson-Davis neglected what may have been the Hoosiers’ game-winning shot, Smith tapped the ball away to get rid of the danger for a tip-in. In opposition to the Hoosiers, Smith scored a career-high 29 issues. When the Terps fell right into a 14-point halftime deficit at Northwestern, Smith scored 21 issues in the second one part to push Maryland forward. Smith preserved Maryland’s win over Nebraska when he blocked what may have been Nebraska’s game-winning layup with 5 seconds left.

The Terps have had 4 gamers drafted prior to now 3 years — Fernando (2d spherical in 2019), Kevin Huerter (first spherical in 2018) and Justin Jackson (2d spherical in 2018). All 4 of those gamers left this system after their sophomore seasons. Cowan, who began 130 consecutive video games for the Terps and used to be a first-team all-Large Ten variety as a senior final season, will hope to search out his touchdown spot as an undrafted unfastened agent.

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