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Maryland basketball’s Justin Jackson named to Julius Erving Award watch list

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

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Maryland Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports

As college basketball season draws near, it’s time for preseason award watch lists.

Maryland’s Justin Jackson was named to the Julius Erving Award watch list on Wednesday, given to nation’s top small forward each year.

Jackson primarily played power forward last season, with coach Mark Turgeon utilizing two point guards last season in Anthony Cowan and Melo Trimble. With Trimble gone, Jackson is expected to slot back down to his natural position.

Jackson already has NBA scouts salivating over his potential, as a 6’7 forward with a 7’3 wingspan and a legitimate three-point shot, and has been projected as high as the sixth overall pick for the 2018 draft. He averaged 10.5 points and a team-leading six rebounds while using just under 20 percent of the team’s possessions last season, according to Kenpom. Expect all three of those averages to go up this year.

This is only the fourth year of the award’s existence, with Villanova’s Josh Hart, Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine and Arizona’s Stanley Johnson as its only prior winners.

Jackson is one of three Big Ten forwards nominated among the list of 21, with Michigan State’s Miles Bridges and Purdue’s Vincent Edwards also named. Earlier this week Bridges was named the unanimous preseason pick for conference Player of the Year.

In other news

The football season is halfway through and coach DJ Durkin has to make difficult decisions about whether to burn redshirts to attempt to improve the pass rush.

Men’s soccer’s loss to Georgetown was its first regular season loss since 2015, and the Terps are still pretty upbeat and ready to move on.

I joined Matt and Thomas on the podcast to try to figure out what’s the next step in Maryland’s athletic director situation.

In other podcast news, basketball’s newest commit Eric Ayala joined the Glenn Clark Radio and he has a new priority: bringing five-star center Moses Brown to Maryland.

After originally being left off the midseason list, the Terps’ D.J. Moore was added to the Biletnikoff Award watch list, given to the best receiver in the country each year. Moore currently leads Big Ten receivers in touchdowns, receiving yards, yards per game and catches per game.

The NBA is back and to kickoff the season there was some Terp-on-Terp action with Jake Layman and the Trail Blazers taking on Alex Len’s Suns. Chalk this one up as a win for Layman, as Portland absolutely obliterated Phoenix.