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Maryland’s Smith declares for NBA draft

Maryland standout big man Jalen Smith announced Tuesday that he is entering the NBA draft.

Smith averaged 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in 31 games in the recently concluded season, his sophomore year. The 6-foot-10 Baltimore native also blocked 73 shots and connected on 53.8 percent of his field-goal attempts.

“After consultation with my family and coaches, I am thankful and grateful to announce that the time is right for me to move forward to the next phase in my basketball career and declare for the 2020 NBA Draft,” Smith said in the announcement on the school’s website. “I am thankful to the coaches and staff at the University of Maryland who afforded me the opportunity to stay home to receive an education and play basketball at the college of my dreams.”

Smith made strides as a 3-pointer shooter as a sophomore, making 36.8 percent (32 of 87) after connecting on just 26.8 percent (19 of 71) as a freshman.

He is currently projected as a second-round selection (40th overall) in the latest mock draft by nbadraft.net.

Coach Mark Turgeon supports Smith’s decision to place his name in the draft that is currently scheduled for June 25, pending developments due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am thrilled for Jalen and his family for making such an important and exciting decision,” Turgeon said in the news release. “From the minute we started recruiting Jalen, we knew the kind of quality player and person we would be getting and he lived up to it in every way. As incredible of a player Jalen is on the court, he is that and more as an individual off the court. We will miss him in College Park.

“I cannot wait to watch Jalen at the next level and I wish him and his family nothing but the best on their journey.”

–Field Level Media

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