Maryland basketball’s Anthony Cowan, Jalen Smith named to preseason All-Big Ten team

Guard Anthony Cowan drives through traffic during Maryland’s 72-62 win over Ohio State at Xfinity Center on Feb. 23, 2019. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

Maryland basketball guard Anthony Cowan and forward Jalen Smith have been selected as All-Big Ten preseason honorees, the conference announced at Media Day on Wednesday.

Cowan was one of three unanimous selections, along with Michigan State’s Cassius Winston — also selected as the conference’s Preseason Player of the Year — and Ohio State’s Kaleb Wesson. Maryland and Michigan State are the lone Big Ten teams with multiple players making the preseason honors list.

Cowan, a senior from Bowie, is a two-time All-Big Ten selection and led the Terps in scoring, minutes and assists each of the last two seasons. Now, entering his final campaign in College Park, he’ll be the leader of a team with lofty expectations. The Terps are listed inside the top-10 in most preseason polls.

[Read more: Big Ten releases 2019-20 conference schedule for Maryland men’s basketball]

“Our guys only know one way, and that’s to work hard,” coach Mark Turgeon said at Media Day. “Our culture is terrific right now. Our guys are in the gym early, in the gym late, in the gym with me during the day. They’re embracing it. We’re all embracing it.”

Of any Maryland player, Smith may have seen the largest offseason boost. He’s gained 30 pounds, according to a release, improving one aspect of his game that seemed to need attention last year. In a physical conference, Smith was pushed around at times as a freshman. 

Still, he started 33 games in 2018-19, posting 11.7 points per game and earning a place on the Big Ten All-Freshman team.

“We don’t call him Stix anymore, we call him Logs, because he’s gotten so much bigger,” Turgeon said. “He never has a shirt on anymore, he’s always trying to show his upper body off.”

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