Ever since 2016, the NCAA has permitted players to declare for the NBA Draft and still maintain college eligibility, so long as they refrain from hiring an agent and withdraw their name after the combine. In each of these draft cycles, Maryland has seen one of its underclassmen go through this process, with Bruno Fernando becoming the latest on Friday.
He joins Melo Trimble in 2016 and Justin Jackson last year, both of whom elected to return to college at the end of the process. The timeline from here has become a familiar one, but it’s still worth glancing over.
Fernando had until April 22 to declare for the draft. Like most players, he made the call with plenty of time to spare. So that box has been checked. For the next month and a half, he’ll be splitting his focus between training and schoolwork. NCAA rules permit him to try out with one NBA team during this process.
But everything revolves around the NBA Draft Combine from May 16-20. All eyes will be on the 60 prospects, and Fernando has the raw talent and athleticism to potentially turn heads and move his stock into the middle or late first round. If that happens, he’ll almost certainly go pro.
Players have 10 days after the combine to withdraw their name from the draft and retain college eligibility (there’s a final withdrawal deadline on June 11, but that doesn’t affect Maryland). Trimble and Jackson both waited until the final day to make their decisions to return to school.
While Fernando can pull the trigger and hire an agent anytime before the combine, it’s hard to imagine him doing so, even if he ultimately does leave. Instead, he’ll most likely have Terps fans—and the coaching staff, who is looking to add another big man regardless of what Fernando decides—waiting until late May once again.
In other news
Maryland men’s lacrosse trailed Penn State for over 36 minutes, but pulled out a 13-11 win and should take over the nation’s No. 1 ranking.
The women’s team, meanwhile, moved its Saturday game to Friday. The Terps celebrated senior day by beating Rutgers by eight.
The softball team had an even tougher time with the Illini, losing three games by a combined score of 38-3.
Maryland gymnastics’ season is over, but the Terps posted their highest postseason score in program history (195.850) to finished fourth in the Raleigh regional.