Maryland forward Jalen Smith will return to the Terrapins for his sophomore season, it was announced Monday.
Smith, 6'10" and 215 pounds, averaged 11.7 points and 6.8 rebounds across 33 games (all starts) during his freshman campaign. He was named to the All-Big Ten Freshman following the season.
"I'm excited to return to Maryland for my sophomore year and advance my education as I continue to develop both on and off the court with my teammates and coaching staff," Smith said in statement. "This past season was an amazing experience and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for our team. I'm appreciative of coach [Mark] Turgeon, the staff, my teammates and Terp Nation for all of their support."
The Crossover's Jeremy Woo said that returning to school for another season could improve Smith's draft stock as a 2020 NBA draft prospect.
"Based on the way the depth at center has been shaping up toward the middle of this draft class, returning to school made a lot of sense for Smith, particularly with Bruno Fernando likely on his way to the pros," Woo said. "As a freshman, Smith showed flashes of the ability that made him a touted recruit, but was unable to put together a complete season. Expect him to be a bigger focal point of the team as a sophomore, and if he can continue to get stronger and more coordinated, a breakout season is possible. Had he come out now, he would have been viewed as more of a project and likely spent time in the G League off the bat. Smith should have a chance to be a first round pick in a year’s time if all goes well."
Smith helped Maryland advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament, where it was defeated by LSU. He averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds.