2019-2020 CBB PREVIEW: Maryland Terrapins

Contributed by Jordan Samson

            Mark Turgeon may have his deepest team yet as he was able to soften the blow of losing Bruno Fernando by bringing in great talent such as Donta Scott, twins Makhi and Makhel Mitchell, Hakim Hart, and Chol Marial.  Not only were they able to reload in the frontcourt (while maintaining Jalen Smith), but the Terrapins also brought back a deep and talented backcourt of Anthony Cowan Jr., Darryl Morsell, Eric Ayala, and Aaron Wiggins.  Maryland is currently ranked 6th in the AP Poll and many Terps fans hope this is the year that Turgeon can take this team to the next level.

PG: Anthony Cowan Jr. – After declaring early entry to this past draft to gain feedback from NBA scouts, the Bowie, MD (St. John’s College HS) native has chosen to return for his senior season.  The speedy guard has put up a career 13.8 points and 4.4 assists per game.  He is less of a vocal leader and more somebody who leads by example.

SG: Darryl Morsell – The 6-5 Junior out of Baltimore, Md. is one of the main leaders and defensive stoppers for this team.  Morsell finished last season strong by averaging 12.4 points and tallying 16 assists with only 3 turnovers in a 5 game span.  Before arriving in College Park, Morsell was a unanimous four star recruit.

SF: Aaron Wiggins – Wiggins came into the program with high expectations last year and has showed lots of promise so far.  Last year, he made the second most three pointers in Terrapin freshman history (62) for an average of 41.3%.  This year, Maryland will look to get him more looks beyond the arc and also in transition, where his athleticism has earned him high percentage opportunities.  According to Coach Turgeon, “I just thought [Wiggins] was really a complete player, he’s just got so much game. He’s got ability. He can defend. He can rebound. He can shoot it. I just thought there was a huge upside there.”

PF: Donta Scott – Scott, a 6-7 forward out of Philadelphia is only a freshman but since the beginning of the season, he has already been a big contributor averaging 15.2 minutes per game.  He has showed a decent ability to shoot from long range making four out of ten threes so far this season.  Some of Donta’s best assets are his toughness and ability to guard multiple positions.

C:  Jalen Smith –  “Stix” is looking to follow up his impressive freshman year in a much larger role following Bruno Fernando’s early departure.  This offseason, he has put on some muscle and brought his weight up to 225.  Going into this year, Smith was named to the Karl Malone Watch List and the Preseason All-Big Ten Team.  Jalen Smith has averaged 9.4 rebounds and 2 blocks so far this season.  One area where he has struggled is his perimeter shooting as he has yet to make a three point shot yet this year in 5 games (1.4 attempts per game) and in his Maryland career he only shoots 24%.

Key Reserves:

PG/SG: Eric Ayala – The 6-5 Sophomore out of IMG Academy (Fl.) was rated 78th overall in the country and 9th out of all combo guards.  Last year, Ayala averaged 29 mins (3rd most on team) while ranking second on the team in assists (2.1 per game) as well as second on the team in three point percentage (40.6%).  Ayala has shot the ball well from the free throw line early in the season (91.7%) but has struggled from deep so far (22.7%).  Eric Ayala has excellent ball handling skills and can find opportunities for others while keeping opponents true with his perimeter shooting.

PF: Ricky Lindo Jr. –  Lindo Jr. wasn’t a very highly touted recruit in the class of 2018 (448th overall and 3 stars according to 247Sports) but he was able to appear in all games last year while averaging 3.5 rebounds per game (4th on team) and only 1.6 points per game in 12.3 minutes per game.  His most impressive game so far this year was against Fairfield where he shot a perfect 6-6 for a total of 13 points and secured 7 rebounds.

PF/C: Makhi Mitchell –  The 6-10 235 pound Forward was brought in as a long term replacement for the missed production of Bruno Fernando and likely Jalen Smith after this year.  He was ranked 2nd in DC and 17th in Centers for the 2019 class by 247Sports.  He also has a twin brother named Makhel Mitchell who is on the Maryland basketball team.  His over 7 foot wingspan allows him to contribute on both ends of the floor as he is averaging 1 block and 4.6 points in 7 minutes per game so far this year.

Injury Report:

Date Pos Player Injury Status
11/23/19 C Chol Marial Legs Is out indefinitely

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