Maryland men’s basketball forward Jalen Smith earned third-team All-American honors from the Associated Press on Friday, another accolade for the 6-foot-10 centerpiece of much of the Terps’ success this season.
Smith averaged 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game, and his performance during Big Ten play helped elevate his team to a share of the regular-season conference title. Maryland never got the chance to go any further, with the spread of the coronavirus leading to the cancellation of the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments.
But what Smith showed during the regular season was enough to make him the first Terps player since Greivis Vasquez in 2010 to make an AP All-American team — Melo Trimble earned an honorable mention in 2016 and 2017.
In those conference games, Smith shot a Big Ten-best 56.1 percent from the field and knocked down 41.2 percent of his three-point tries. The Baltimore native blocked 2.4 shots per game — level with Michigan State’s Xavier Tillman for the conference lead — and averaged 16.8 points during those 20 contests.
That output earned him All-Big Ten first-team honors on March 9, and the sophomore has already been named a third-team All-American by Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports and Sporting News. In addition, Smith is a finalist for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year award and was a semifinalist for the Naismith Player of the Year honor.
It remains to be seen whether Smith will return to College Park for a third season. In one sense, he has already followed former teammate Bruno Fernando’s path somewhat, returning for his sophomore campaign and building his draft stock.
But even after 21 double-doubles, it’s not a given Smith will leave. And it’s not a conversation Mark Turgeon has had with Smith yet, either, the coach said on a Monday conference call.
“I haven’t talked to Jalen and his family about his future and what we’re going to do,” Turgeon said. “I don’t think the timing’s right right now.”