Jahmir Young is only in his second season with Maryland men’s basketball. But the Charlotte transfer has already produced multiple signature plays and near-misses at the end of important games.
In his first year with the Terps, Young hit the three-point dagger against then-No. 16 Illinois and dropped a game-high 20 points in an upset of then-No. 3 Purdue. This season, the fifth-year senior scored a career-high 37 points to lead Maryland to its first win at Pauley Pavilion over UCLA.
He’s also missed late shots at Purdue in 2023 and Northwestern in 2024, had desperation heaves fall short and, on Sunday, recorded his career-high seventh turnover as time expired in a loss to Michigan State.
With Wednesday’s game on the line, the Terps trusted Young with the ball once again. He validated their faith by flying past an Iowa defender and laying the ball in with 1.7 seconds remaining to secure Maryland’s first win in Iowa City since 2019.
“He got fouled on one of the layups pretty hard and it made him mad,” coach Kevin Willard said. “It woke him up a little bit.”
Young has shined brightest in Maryland’s toughest and closest games. He’s averaged 23.3 points against quad one opponents and his field goal and three-point percentages have increased in those contests.
He scored 17 of his game-high 22 points against the Hawkeyes in the second half and eight in the final 90 seconds to secure the Terps’ second quad one win of the season.
Young has scored crucial late buckets in close games all season and leads the country with 68 points during the final five minutes of games when the score is within six points.
Maryland’s offensive struggles have forced it to rely even more on Young. Through the Terps’ conference schedule, he has played 92 percent of their minutes and taken more than 34 percent of their shots — both Big Ten highs.
That additional usage and slight efficiency increases have Young on pace for one of the best scoring seasons in Maryland history.
He’s averaging 20.8 points per game, which would be the 11th-best mark in Terps history and the second-highest scoring average in the 21st century. He was named a preseason All-American by Blue Ribbon and could become Maryland’s first All-American since 2020.
“The game’s slowed down a little bit,” Young said after his 36-point outing in Maryland’s loss to Northwestern. “Just getting used to the physicality, just getting used to Willard himself and the team, my teammates, and just picking my spots [has helped].”
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said he hoped Young saw the eyes of six defenders every time he got the ball after Sunday’s game. He compared the Spartans’ strategy for the Terps’ guard to the Pistons’ outlines for defending Michael Jordan.
Young led the Terps in scoring with 15.8 points per game as they impressed in Willard’s inaugural season and Maryland advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
While the Terps are unlikely to repeat that team success this year, Young is having an even better season and has become a bright spot on an otherwise uninspiring team.
As his career dwindles, Young is set to leave Maryland with a complex legacy.
He’ll only spend two years in College Park with teams that didn’t have as much success as previous Terps’ star guards such as Juan Dixon, Melo Trimble and Anthony Cowan Jr. But he represents an increasingly common archetype in modern college sports: a transfer that briefly becomes a program’s figurehead.
It’s unlikely that Young will lead the Terps to postseason success, but his name will slot into their record books. And like he did Wednesday, he’s provided Maryland fans with multiple signature moments in what’s been a memorable, albeit short, stint in a Terps jersey.