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MM 11.4: Early NBA Draft projections have a pair of Terps in the mix

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

Jalen Smith Sarah Sopher / Testudo Times

Maryland men’s basketball faces high expectations as the No. 7 team in the country going into the 2019-20 college basketball season.

The hype is real in College Park, and a few players on this year’s roster have caught the eyes of NBA scouts and the media.

With the season starting on Tuesday night, some mock 2020 NBA Drafts are already out, and two Maryland players have been prominently featured on draft boards: sophomore forward Jalen Smith and sophomore guard Aaron Wiggins.

Jalen Smith 2020 NBA Draft Projections

Outlet Pick Team Date released
Outlet Pick Team Date released
Stadium 9 Oklahoma City Thunder Oct. 22
NBA Draft Room 12 Chicago Bulls Nov. 1
Tankathon 13 Utah Jazz Oct. 26
NBA Draft .net 15 Detroit Pistons July 27
Sports Illustrated 20 San Antonio Spurs Oct. 30
Bleacher Report 26 Oklahoma City Thunder Oct. 23
Yahoo! Sports 26 N/A June 21
Forbes 27 Utah Jazz Oct. 10
USA TODAY 29 San Antonio Spurs Oct. 30

Smith’s projections are scattered throughout the first round. As shown above, he has lottery pick promise — though whether that comes to fruition all depends on whether he can reach his potential on the court. Stadium, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and Yahoo! Sports all talked highly of his versatility on the court, being able to “thrive in transition” as Stadium described him.

Three of those four publications have Smith drafted in the 20s, with Stadium the one outlier as a top-10 pick. Smith has that potential, be hasn't turned the corner as Sports Illustrated discussed, talking about his “gangly frame”. There is significant upside and Smith could “one of the more appealing five-men in this class if all goes well.”

Aaron Wiggins 2020 NBA Draft Projections

Outlet Pick Team Date Released
Outlet Pick Team Date Released
Yahoo! Sports 24 N/A June 21
NBADraft .net 29 Toronto Raptors July 27
NBA Draft Room 51 San Antonio Spurs Nov. 1

Wiggins has appeared on several draft boards after emerging as Maryland’s go-to outside shooter last season, leading the team with a 41.3 three-point percentage. His projections range from the end of the first round to the end of the second round.

Yahoo! Sports and NBA Draft Room specifically talked about his ability to dominate from beyond the arc, Yahoo! Sports saying that “coming back for another year at Maryland should help him improve his strength and 3-point shot.” Wiggins has also been in the weight room quite a bit this offseason, adding on some muscle.

Wiggins isn’t being talked about much, but it’s not the first time a Maryland sharpshooter has gone under-the-radar. Kevin Huerter shot 39.4 percent from three in his two seasons at Maryland, including 41.7 percent his sophomore year. He was drafted 19th overall in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, so don’t be surprised if Wiggins follows a similar path.

In other news

Maryland men’s basketball team blew out Fayetteville State 76-43 in its sole exhibition game on Friday night. Here are our biggest takeaways.

Maryland football lost its fourth-straight game, a 38-7 homecoming blowout by Michigan on Saturday.

Lila and Cody had a trio of takeaways from the Terps’ blowout loss.

If you’re looking for some more uplifting Maryland football news, Lila wrote a feature on quarterback Tyler DeSue and where he gets his resiliency.

Sarah had some awesome photo content for us this weekend, both at the basketball exhibition and the football game.

Morgan also produced a ton of great multimedia content over the weekend, starting with this video on how some Maryland men’s basketball players are struggling to tell the Mitchell twins apart.

She also recapped the football game, and on a more positive note did a feature on running back Javon Leake tying Torrey Smith for the most kickoff return touchdowns in program history.

Maryland women’s basketball added its best recruit in program history, five-star guard Angel Reese, the No. 2 overall player in the class of 2020. We were the first to break the news of any local or national outlet.

No. 17 Maryland men’s soccer was upset by Michigan 4-2 on Sunday in its regular season finale.

Maryland women’s soccer’s best season since joining the Big Ten ended on Sunday, falling 3-0 to the Wolverines in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament.

The Terps had a rough weekend on the field and the court as I wrote about Maryland volleyball losing in straight sets at Ohio State on Saturday.

Maryland wrestling began its season on Saturday, going 1-1 at the Cavalier Duals in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Lila discovered a crazy Terps basketball coincidence this weekend...think it means anything?

Jake Layman made an appearance at Friday night’s men’s basketball exhibition game while his Minnesota Timberwolves were in town to play the Washington Wizards.

Former men’s basketball standout Joe Smith and football player/Under Armour founder Kevin Plank were at Saturday’s football game.

Maryland football is 44-point underdogs to No. 3 Ohio State... yes, you read that right.

Former Terp DJ Moore had one great catch and a pretty good Sunday afternoon, finishing with seven receptions for 101 yards.

Maryland women’s basketball has its second game of the season this upcoming Sunday — a matchup between two top-10 teams.

It was homecoming in College Park as former Terps returned to campus, including five members of the 2018 national champion men’s soccer team.

Maryland men’s lacrosse head coach John Tillman was in the Halloween spirit.

Maryland field hockey head coach Missy Meharg showed off the championship trophy at Saturday’s football game.

Maryland women’s soccer ran into someone pretty iconic on its way back from the Big Ten tournament.