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MM 12.30: Aaron Wiggins continues to shine for the Oklahoma City Thunder

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Former Maryland men’s basketball star Aaron Wiggins has seen an increase in playing time and is making the most of his opportunity for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

That increase in time is likely due to a number of players missing numerous games because of COVID-19 protocols. However, through this stretch, Wiggins is proving he belongs and is worthy of playing extended minutes on a nightly basis for a young and developing Thunder team.

On Wednesday he put together another great performance, totaling 22 points and eight rebounds in 39 minutes, the most minutes of anyone on the team, in a loss to the Phoenix Suns.

In his last three games before Wednesday night, he had 24, 14 and 15 points, respectively, while shooting the ball efficiently. His 24 point performance on Dec. 26 was a career-high for Wiggins.

After deciding to forego his senior season at Maryland and enter the 2021 NBA Draft, Wiggins was selected with the 55th pick by the Thunder. In this December stretch, Wiggins is making it look like the Thunder got a steal.

On the other side of the court, former Maryland basketball forward Jalen Smith saw some action and made an impact in this matchup for the Pheonix Suns. Smith finished with 11 points and 14 rebounds in 25 minutes on the court.

Similar to Wiggins, Smith has seen more playing time due to other players missing games due to COVID-19 protocols. In the Suns' last matchup before this one, Smith had 15 points, nine boards and one steal in 29 minutes.

In other news

Maryland won its first bowl game since 2010 on Wednesday in the Pinstripe Bowl over Virginia Tech. Read about the game and what the win meant here.

Maryland men’s basketball is back in action tonight against Brown. Read our preview here.

Take a look inside Maryland football’s locker room following its bowl victory.

Maryland football quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was named the Pinstripe Bowl MVP.

Here’s a look inside Maryland’s sideline celebration.

Wide receiver Rakim Jarrett posed with the trophy.

The New York Yankees showed love to Maryland after its dominating win on the Yankees home turf at Yankee Stadium.

Other Maryland coaches wished congratulations to head coach Michael Locksley and Maryland football.