This year’s NBA draft is officially in the rearview mirror, with the Maryland men’s basketball team’s Kevin Huerter and Justin Jackson joining the Atlanta Hawks and the Orlando Magic, respectively.

But like a kid waiting for Christmas, it’s never too early to start looking ahead to the next batch of Terps whose professional basketball dreams might be on the clock.


Bruno Fernando

The rising sophomore center withdrew from this year’s draft after NBA executives could not guarantee he would be taken in the first round. The 6-foot-10 Angolan with a 7-4 wingspan averaged 10.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game as a freshman. He earned Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week honors twice and was named to the league’s All-Freshman team.

Fernando worked out with the Atlanta Hawks before announcing he would return to Maryland, which will count on Fernando to replace some of the scoring it lost with Huerter’s departure.

While Kevin Huerter will start his NBA career as a first-round draft pick and Justin Jackson will try to start his after being picked in the second round, both former Maryland players will be part of rebuilding teams at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

Jalen Smith

The five-star recruit and Mount Saint Joseph product scored 2,122 points in his decorated high school career, averaging 23 points, 12.5 rebounds and three blocks per game as a senior. The All-Metro Player of the Year and McDonald’s All-American is already projected to go as high as the middle of the first round by one early mock draft.

When he still believed Fernando might remain in the 2018 draft, the 6-10 Smith said: “I like playing with Bruno [in pickup games]. He’s pretty much one of the best big men I’ve ever played with. If it comes down to him leaving, I’ll just have to put on a bigger role than what [it’s] expected to be.”

Here’s where the Maryland big men have landed across several 2019 mock drafts:

Smith: No. 16, Miami Heat, Jalen Smith

Fernando: No. 22, New Orleans Pelicans

Fernando: No. 7, Sacramento Kings

Smith: Not picked in first or second round

Fernando: No. 9, New York Knicks

Smith: Not picked in first round


Fernando: No. 26 overall prospect

Smith: No. 29 overall

Fernando: No. 23, San Antonio Spurs

Smith: Not picked in first round

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