Maryland’s Darryl Morsell declares for NBA draft while putting name in transfer portal — but could return to Terps

Maryland senior guard Darryl Morsell announced Monday that he is entering the transfer portal and declaring for the NBA draft, but will consider all options, including returning to the Terps next season.

Morsell, the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a four-year starter, averaged nine points, four rebounds and 2.8 assists this past season, helping the Terps reach the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Baltimore native and Mount Saint Joseph graduate was also an All-Big Ten honorable mention and named to the conference’s All-Defensive Team.


“I want to thank Coach [Mark] Turgeon, the entire coaching staff, my teammates and all of Terp Nation for making the last four seasons unforgettable,” he wrote on Twitter. “The University of Maryland developed me into the man I am today and I will always be grateful.

“I feel it is important to consider all of my options, including the possibility of returning to Maryland, in order to make a decision that’s best for my family and our future.”


“I applaud Darryl for considering all of his options and using the resources available to make an informed decision that is best for his future,” Turgeon said in a statement.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA gave all athletes an extra year of eligibility, providing the seniors on the team — Morsell and Galin Smith — the opportunity to return for another season. Neither player would count against the Terps’ 13 allotted scholarships for the 2021 season.

When Morsell was asked about his plans after the team’s season-ending loss to Alabama, he said he would first focus on getting surgery for a fractured labrum in his shoulder that he played through.

While the possible return of Smith and/or Morsell would likely be welcomed, it would create a bit of a logjam for minutes, given the addition of transfers Qudus Wahab and Fatts Russell, returning players and incoming freshmen Julian Reese (St. Frances) and Ike Cornish. But it would be a good problem to have after Turgeon’s rotation was limited to eight players and bench production was sporadic.

Morsell, who for years has been referred to as a do-it-all “glue guy,” has grown into what Turgeon and teammates say is the “heart and soul” of a Terps team that reached the NCAA tournament after starting the season 1-5 in conference play.

In the second game of a back-to-back with Nebraska in February, he became the 56th player in program history to record 1,000 points. He’s one of three four-year starters, along with Jake Layman and Anthony Cowan Jr., to have been recruited by Turgeon in his 10 years in College Park.

“When I signed him, I didn’t think he would be a 1,000-point scorer,” Turgeon said last month. “I thought he was going to be a great defender, a tough guy. I thought [500] or 600 points but for him to get to 1,000 is amazing. It shows you how hard he’s worked on his 3-point shot, his mid-range. … He’s going to be in the top 10 or 15 or 20 all-time defender, also.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Daniel Oyefusi contributed to this article.