There’s a different Maryland men’s basketball player popping up in 2018 NBA mock drafts than the one we’ve become accustomed to.
In NBADraft.net’s latest mock, freshman Bruno Fernando was pegged as the No. 26 pick, while sophomore Justin Jackson was absent from the two-round projections.
It’s not surprising Fernando’s play has warranted some looks from NBA scouts, but it is that Jackson has fallen completely off some radars. Jackson is still drawing plenty of scouts’ interest, though, and was ranked No. 20 in Sports Illustrated’s second mock draft.
Fernando has become an immediate contributor for the Terps, and the former four-star recruit is the Maryland’s third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder with 10.8 points and 5.6 rebounds. The 6’10 Angolan also leads the Terps with two blocks a game, although he’s still learning how to defend without fouling, averaging a team-high 2.9 fouls in 19.7 minutes a night.
After testing the draft process after his freshman season, Jackson has had a slow start to the season. He’s averaging 9.8 points a night on 37.8 percent shooting and is 8-of-35 beyond the arc, but leads Maryland with 8.4 rebounds. Fans hope he’s turned a corner after adding a season-high 20 points in the Terps road win over Illinois.
Fernando has given no indications that he’ll be a one-and-done, but it’s something to keep an eye on. Jackson, on the other hand, was likely to be gone if he took the next step, after being pegged by multiple outlets as a potential lottery pick before the season.
The season is long, though, so there’s still time for Terps to rise and fall before it’s time to declare.
In other news
The Illinois game was almost beyond comprehension, but Jared tried to make sense of the Terps’ overtime win.
Here are the two plays that kept Maryland completely blowing a 22-point lead against the Illini, from The Diamondback.
Women’s lacrosse assistant coach Lauri Kenis was inducted into the Charlottesville, Virginia, chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame over the weekend. The honor follows a successful playing career at the University of Virginia and being on the staff of the last four Terps championship teams.
Mark Turgeon used the slight break in play to hit the recruiting trail, and went to visit 2019 guard R.J. Blakney for an in-home visit on Monday night, from InsideMDSports.