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.
[Read more: Maryland basketball’s Anthony Cowan, Jalen Smith, Darryl Morsell earn all-Big Ten honors]
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.
[Read more: Maryland basketball’s Jalen Smith named Naismith Player of the Year semifinalist]
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.”