Maryland men’s basketball announced the signing of three-star center Chol Marial on Monday for the class of 2019, adding another frontcourt weapon to coach Mark Turgeon’s squad following forward Bruno Fernando’s decision to remain in the NBA Draft.
Marial, a native of South Sudan who moved to America in 2014 to attend IMG Academy in Florida before finishing with a prep year at AZ Compass Prep in Chandler, Arizona, battled injuries throughout his development.
Once considered a potential NBA lottery pick, Marial has dropped to a three-star recruit per 247Sports, and a four-star prospect on ESPN and Rivals. During his abbreviated year at Compass Prep — in which he battled shin splints — Marial averaged 14 points and 13 rebounds per game, along with eight blocks.
“I want to thank Coach Turgeon for giving me this opportunity,” Marial said in a release. “Coach Turgeon and I have gotten along really well and I really enjoyed spending time with the rest of the coaching staff and players. Bruno Fernando and I have similar backgrounds and I saw how much he improved as a player at Maryland. I’m looking forward to getting better every day and playing for Terp Nation.”
He’ll likely factor into the rotation of players helping to fill the void Fernando left. Forward Jalen Smith, who announced he’d be returning for his sophomore campaign, should be the go-to presence down low. But Marial, as well as fellow class of 2019 signees Makhi and Makhel Mitchell, could see plenty of time on the court.
Marial visited College Park last month, and had received offers from Arizona State, Georgetown and Iowa, among other Power 5 programs.
Turgeon secured the No. 1 recruiting class in the Big Ten last year. Before Marial’s signing, the Terps ranked No. 3 in the conference on 247Sports. Marial likely rounds out Turgeon’s roster for next season, which includes small forward Donta Scott and shooting guard Hakim Hart in the class of 2019.
“I’ve watched Chol the last three years and I can’t say enough about him as both a person and a basketball player,” Turgeon said in a release. “One of the top players in his class when healthy, Chol’s tremendous size and length make him an excellent rim protector.”