The Naismith committee released its midseason watch list for Defensive Player of the Year on a Tuesday, and Maryland men’s basketball’s Bruno Fernando is on its radar. The sophomore center was one of 15 players named to the list, part of a conference-high four players from the Big Ten.
Fernando shares the honor with Duke forward Zion Williamson, Virginia forward De’Andre Hunter and Texas Tech center Tariq Owens, among others. Michigan guard Zavier Simpson, Wisconsin center Ethan Happ and Minnesota forward Jordan Murphy also represent the conference.
Fernando is averaging a double-double on the season, posting 14.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game and anchoring the No. 13 Terps. The 6’10 center is also averaging 2.2 blocks per game, has the ninth-highest total rebound rate and ranks No. 8 in the nation in box plus/minus.
Multiple Maryland players have remarked about how having Fernando and Jalen Smith on the back line has changed the complexion of the defense. If Fernando keeps it up, he may find himself on the list of semifinalists when it’s announced in February.
In other news
Fernando also makes an appearance in the Big Ten’s rejections of last week for his swat against Happ (which also happens to be this story’s lead image).
Men’s basketball’s loss to Michigan State on Monday was the first time the Terps really looked young.
Two pro Terps have played impressively of late, each averaging over 15 points a game over the last five contests. Rookie Kevin Huerter is averaging 17.8 points for the Hawks recently, while third-year forward Jake Layman has come on strong to average 15.2 points on 65 percent shooting.
Wrestling is still winless through six meets, and it hasn’t gotten better for the Terps even after their top wrestlers returned from injury.
Field hockey announced its 2019 signing class Tuesday, which will add six players to a program that’s made two straight NCAA Championship games. It includes a midfielder, goalkeeper, two hybrid midfielder/forwards and two forwards.