Bruno Fernando

© Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Terps Still Look Strong Heading Into 2019

May 31, 2018 - 3:09 pm

By Tim Barbalace

The Terps received a tough blow to their team as Kevin Huerter has decided to turn pro and remain in the NBA Draft.  Huerter was named an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention selection after scoring 14.8 points per game and shooting 41.7% from beyond the arc.  Despite the loss of the talented Sophomore guard, Maryland still has the potential to make some noise in the upcoming season.

Bruno Fernando has announced he will return to school and build off a Freshman season where he flashed.   Fernando was named to the All-Big Ten Freshmen Team after averaging 10.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.  He ended up in foul trouble which limited his minutes and his play was inconsistent at times, but the 19-year-old will look to break out so he can turn pro in 2019.

Anthony Cowan is entering his Junior year and was named a Third Team All-Big Ten selection, while also being named to the five-player Big Ten All-Defensive Team.  Cowan also proved to be a workhorse for the Terps as he averaged a Big Ten high of 37 minutes per game.  Maryland's lack of depth at point guard forced him to play more than Mark Turgeon would have liked which wore Cowan down at the end of the year.

The Terps have a strong recruiting class coming in headlined by McDonalds All-American Jalen Smith.  Smith graduated from Mount Saint Joseph and was ranked as the 10th best prospect on ESPN's top 100.  The 6'10" power forward was named Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Maryland after he averaged 22.2 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks per game.

Four-star recruits Aaron Wiggins and Eric Ayala will also boost the Terps backcourt.  Rising Sophomore guard Darryl Morsell will also look to improve upon a solid Freshman year.  Morsell was a staunch defender but will need to develop an outside shot.

Ivan Bender will be returning from a torn meniscus he suffered last season.  Reserves Joshua Tomaic, Alex Tostado, Travis Velmon and Andrew Terrell, will also be joined by incoming Freshmen Serrell Smith and Trace Ramsey.

Maryland is coming off their first year of not qualifying for the NCAA Tournament since the 2013-14 season.  The Terps inability to close out games was the main issue.  The team lost eight games by six points or less.

The Terps would have undoubtedly been a preseason ranked team with Kevin Huerter returning, but without him, I still think the Terps can go dancing.  The improved depth combined with an expected uptick in performance from Anthony Cowan, Bruno Fernando, and Darryl Morsell should give Maryland fans reasons for optimism.