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MM 12.26: Jalen Smith paces Terps in the NBA after return from injury

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

NBA: In Season-Practice Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Following a nine-game absence, Indiana Pacers center Jalen Smith returned to play last week in a win against the Charlotte Hornets.

Despite playing only eight minutes, he finished with 10 points and four boards. Then, Saturday against the Orlando Magic, Smith recorded 11 points in 15 minutes.

For the Sacramento Kings, guard Kevin Huerter remains the statistical leader among former Terps in the NBA, but his production has seen a slight drop since the in-season tournament concluded last month. Over his past nine games, he is averaging just over seven points per contest.

His teammate, center Alex Len, hasn’t played since Nov. 13 due to a right ankle sprain. He was a full participant in Sacramento’s most recent practice, though.

Atlanta Hawks forward Bruno Fernando has played sparingly this season, making just two appearances over the past month. However, he has recorded double-digit points in each of his past two showings.

Lastly, guard Aaron Wiggins continues to be an important bench piece for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Across nine appearances this month, Wiggins is averaging five points in 12 minutes of action per game.

In other news

Maryland men’s basketball’s Jahmir Young received attention from local stars after his 37-point performance at UCLA on Dec. 22.