Though Wednesday was Maryland football’s pro day, the biggest news came from the basketball team. In a span of half an hour, Justin Jackson declared for the NBA draft and Dion Wiley announced he’d explore options as a grad transfer.
While the former wasn’t particularly surprising and the possibility of the latter was an open secret on the beat for the past couple weeks, it poses a question for the Terps: what’s next?
After entering the offseason with just one available scholarship, Mark Turgeon now has three. However, he now has a lot more production to replace.
Jackson came in as part of a trio of freshmen that propelled the Terps to a 20-2 start in the 2016-17 season, and pushed his NBA Draft stock through the roof. He was projected as high as the No. 6 pick during the preseason, but fell off the majority of mock drafts after being shut down with a torn labrum.
He averaged 10.5 points and six rebounds a night, shooting 43.8 percent from the field and beyond the arc his freshman season. His scoring and shooting percentages dropped as a sophomore, but he was still Maryland’s best rebounder in the 11 games he played; he averaged 9.8 points and 8.1 rebounds while shooting 33.6 percent from the field and 25 percent from beyond the arc. He’s currently ranked No. 41 on ESPN’s best available list, and had he returned, KenPom projected Maryland as the No. 11 team in college basketball next season.
Meanwhile, losing Wiley is another hit to the Terps’ depth. Wiley was inconsistent over the three seasons he played in College Park. He averaged 4.4 points over 83 games, but showed flashes this past season of what he can contribute when he's locked in on both ends. Maryland’s current backcourt situation made it unlikely for Wiley to have a huge role next season. Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan Jr. are entrenched as starters, while Darryl Morsell will be a year older and signees Eric Ayala and Aaron Wiggins will join the fold as well. However, Wiley’s loss means the Terps lose another shooter in addition to Jared Nickens’ graduation.
Mark Turgeon will have three scholarships to address his depth issues. Maryland struggled to close out games last season without Jackson but stayed close. Turgeon will need more help in the backcourt and frontcourt. He’ll likely use at least one scholarship on a grad transfer—perhaps Tariq Owens, who visited earlier this week—and could also look to use a scholarship on an unsigned player from the class of 2018.
In other news
One way Turgeon will try to mitigate the loss of Jackson is with five-star signee Jalen Smith, who scored 12 points with four rebounds and two blocks in 17 minutes in Wednesday’s McDonald’s All-American game in an 131-128 loss. Five-star women’s basketball signee Shakira Austin recorded eight points and three rebounds in the girls’ All-American game earlier in the night, also in a loss.
Lefty Driesell will finally get properly recognized; it’s been reported that he’ll finally be voted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Inductees will officially be announced Saturday at the Final Four.
Driessell wasn’t the only former Terp to get a Hall of Fame nod, with Len Bias and Walt Williams being named inductees of the DC Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
All the basketball news drowned out a pro day where the undercard performers made the most noise. At the end of the day, though, D.J. Moore was still the main attraction.
Jared also took the time to reset the football recruiting board for the 2019 cycle. It hasn’t picked up yet, but DJ Durkin has some early targets.
Also in the midst of all the departure announcements, women’s lacrosse extended its winning streak to seven games with a dominating win over Georgetown.