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Maryland’s Jalen Smith named to AP’s All-America men’s basketball team

Maryland sophomore forward Jalen Smith (Mount Saint Joseph) on Friday was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press.

Smith is the first Terp to be named to the AP All-America men’s basketball team since Greivis Vasquez was named second-team All America in 2010.

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Smith averaged 15.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.4 rebounds, all improvements from his freshman season. He also registered career marks in field goal percentage (53.8%), 3-point field goal percentage (36.8%) and free-throw percentage (75%).

In what became essentially a six-man rotation for coach Mark Turgeon following the departure of the Mitchell twins in late December 2019, Smith logged more minutes, particularly at the 5 position, and his play elevated as the team progressed in its Big Ten conference schedule.

Smith registered 21 double doubles, tied for third-most in the country, and nine straight over the course of Maryland’s nine-game winning streak, the program’s longest in conference play since joining the Big Ten in 2014.

One season after sharing the frontcourt with Bruno Fernando, Smith flourished on his own, showing his aptitude as a two-way big who can score inside and from the perimeter. The player affectionally called “Stix” by coaches and teammates spent the summer adding bulk to his wiry frame and the results were noticeable, in Smith’s toned upper body and play on the court.

Last week, Smith was named first-team All-Big Ten by conference coaches and media, as well as All-Defensive Team. Smith is also a top-5 finalist for the Karl Malone Award, given to the nation’s top power forward, and a top-10 finalist for the Citizen Naismith Player of the Year Award.

Smith’s play this season could lead him to leave early for the NBA after declining to enter his name as an early entrant following his freshman season. In a conference call with reporters on Monday, Turgeon said he had not spoken with Smith or his family about his plans for the future.

“I don’t think the timing is right right now,” Turgeon said days after he, as well as the college basketball world, saw the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments abruptly canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dayton’s Obi Toppon, Iowa’s Luke Garza, Marquette’s Markus Howard, Seton Hall’s Myles Powell and Oregon’s Payton Pritchard were named first-team All-Americans.

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Kansas’ Devin Dotson and Udoka Azubuike, San Diego State’s Malachi Flynn, Michigan State’s Cassius Winston and Duke’s Vernon Carey Jr. were named second-team All-Americans.

Gonzaga’s Filip Petrusev, Louisville’s Jordan Nwora, Baylor’s Jared Butler and Duke’s Tre Jones joined Smith on the third team.

Austin leaving women’s team: According to a report in the Washington Post, starting center Shakira Austin is transferring from Maryland. The Terps’ 6-foot-5 sophomore is the second Terps player to enter the transfer portal this week after sophomore center Olivia Owens announced her decision Wednesday.

“We wish Shakira and Olivia all the best as they look for new opportunities,” Coach Brenda Frese said Friday in a statement released to The Washington Post. “We are grateful for their hard work and their time here with our Maryland family. They contributed to championships here at Maryland, and those memories will last a lifetime.”

Austin played in all 32 games for Maryland, starting 26. She ranked second for Terps in scoring (12.0) and rebounding (6.8) per game.

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