Tears streamed down Jahmir Young’s face as he sat on the bench during the final minutes of Maryland men’s basketball’s loss to Alabama in last year’s NCAA tournament. It marked the conclusion of a season where Young returned to his home state and led the Terps to a tournament appearance in their first year under coach Kevin Willard.

Young thought it could’ve been his last game in a Maryland uniform. Though the Charlotte transfer had only been in College Park for one year, it had quickly become home.

But the Prince George’s County native elected to use his final year of eligibility and return for a fifth season of college basketball, his second as a Terp. Young’s focus shifted as he wanted to build off a strong year one at a program that was seemingly trending in the right direction.

“This offseason I really put all individual success, all individual accomplishments aside and really wanted to just be a leader for this group, just try to win as much as possible,” Young said.

But his team hasn’t won at a similar rate.

Young comfortably leads the Terps in points and assists. If his 20.9 points per game average holds, it’d be the ninth-best single-season mark in program history. But Maryland is in danger of ending its season with a losing record for just the second time since 1993 as the upward trajectory following Willard’s first year has abruptly crashed.

While Young isn’t to blame, his final year at Maryland — though historically successful on an individual level — was overshadowed by a disastrous, wildly disappointing Terps campaign.

A large reason for that is the team’s struggles in close games. Maryland is 1-10 in contests decided by five points or fewer. The lone victory came at Iowa, where Young scored eight points in the final 90 seconds, including the game-winning layup.

[Maryland men’s basketball falls to Indiana, 83-78, after blowing 16-point lead]

He also had the ball in his hands in some of those defeats. Young turned the ball over in the Terps’ last possession of a two-point loss to Michigan State. He missed a go-ahead shot late in a three-point loss at Northwestern, but his 36 points almost single-handedly kept Maryland in that game.

“Just tough losses, losses that come down to the wire and ones that we know we shouldn’t let get away from us,” Young said. “Wishing I could take those back and get a couple more wins.”

It’s hard to fault Young, who’s played some of his best basketball against premier opponents, for any of those defeats. The guard averages 24.5 points per game against quad one opponents with a staggering 35.5 usage percentage. Both figures were the highest in the nation as of Feb. 27, according to CBB Analytics.

Willard used Young heavily last year, and those numbers have only increased this season. He’s played a conference-high 92.9 percent of Maryland’s minutes in Big Ten play while taking 32.9 percent of the Terps’ shots, which ranks second in the conference.

“He trusts me on the floor, he put the ball in my hand since day one, so I can’t thank him enough for that,” Young said.

Willard predicted that Young would take the biggest leap among his returning players this season. It may have been a surprising proclamation to some — Young already led the Terps in points, assists and steals last year and had four collegiate seasons under his belt.

But Young proved his coach right, averaging five more points and one more assist per game than he did last year.

“I’ve been able to watch a lot of film, just take things from my game and try to take it to the next level [in] all aspects,” Young said. “I’m just trying to keep working and keep striving, and the game has been slowing down for me this year, just having a year under my belt [at Maryland].”

[DeShawn Harris-Smith gives Maryland hope for future amid a grim season]

Young is on track to have the fifth-highest career scoring average in program history among players who spent at least two seasons in College Park.

Considering how poorly Willard’s second year at the helm has gone, it’s hard to imagine where he and the program would be without Young, who was one of his first additions after taking the job.

“I couldn’t ask any more from one of your first recruits that you get,” Willard said. “His work ethic is unbelievable, he’s a terrific teammate, he’s a great young man to be around. I couldn’t ask any more for what Jahmir’s given this program.”

Young’s name has been brought up alongside three-time All-Big Ten selections Melo Trimble and Anthony Cowan Jr., who, like him, were both star point guards from Prince George’s County. While the current Maryland standout has spent less time on campus than Trimble and Cowan, his per-game numbers are on par, if not better, than his predecessors.

But Trimble and Cowan found a degree of team success that Young hasn’t. The Terps were 79-25 in Trimble’s three years and 90-40 in Cowan’s four, both substantially better than Maryland’s 37-28 record over the last two seasons.

It makes Young’s legacy somewhat complex, as his historic season came in a year where the Terps were projected to finish near the top of the Big Ten but sit second-to-last in the conference with just one regular season game left to play.

Young said he hopes to be remembered as a competitor who was proud of and passionate about Maryland. He’s grown and matured as a person over the past year, and though it’s been a disappointing season, he’s a believer that everything happens for a reason, he said.

Young’s time in College Park is winding down. It marks the end of a two-year chapter for a hometown kid who dreamt of wearing a Terps uniform and found historic success on an individual level — but it doesn’t look like he’ll get a storybook ending.