The Big Ten men’s basketball season honors are out, and Maryland is well-represented.
For just the second time since Maryland joined the conference, it has a First Team All-Big Ten member as voted by both conference coaches and media. Sophomore center Bruno Fernando earned such accolades Monday, while junior point guard Anthony Cowan Jr. joined the second team and rookie forward Jalen Smith made the all-freshman team.
Bruno Fernando — First Team All-Big Ten, All-Defensive Team
After testing the NBA Draft waters last spring and ultimately returning to College Park, Fernando turned in a spectacular sophomore season. He scored 14 points and grabbed 10.4 rebounds per game, the latter of which was second-best in the conference. He also finished third in the league with 1.9 blocks a night. Fernando shot 62.4 percent from the floor, narrowly behind Purdue’s Matt Haarms for the conference lead in that category, and he also made an impressive 76.6 percent of his free throws.
These numbers, as well as Fernando’s 22 double-doubles, are remarkable, and his high-energy playing style makes him a fan favorite to boot. He’s one of five finalists for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar award, given to the nation’s top center, and on Monday was also named a Sporting News All-American honorable mention.
Fernando becomes Maryland’s third All-Big Ten first-teamer since joining the conference, and only the second to make the first team as voted by both coaches and media. Melo Trimble made both lists in 2017 and the media’s list in 2015, while Dez Wells was a first-team selection by the coaches that same season.
Fernando is joined on both first teams by Michigan State’s Cassius Winston, Purdue’s Carsen Edwards and Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ. Penn State’s Lamar Stevens and Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy round out the coach and media teams, respectively.
Fernando’s intimidating presence at the rim made him one of the league’s most feared defenders, and he’s the lone post player on the Big Ten’s all-defensive team.
Anthony Cowan Jr. — Second Team All-Big Ten
The junior point guard led Maryland with 15.9 points and 4.3 assists per game this season, and he scored in double figures in 28 of 31 contests. Cowan’s shooting numbers of 40.4 percent from the field, 34.1 percent from deep and 82.9 percent from the line are all down slightly from last year, but he also assumed an even more prominent role in the offense this season, raising his shot attempts from 10.7 to 12.5 per game.
Cowan was a third-team selection by both the coaches and media in 2018, the only Terp to make an all-conference squad last year. He was also on the all-defensive team, but did not make that five-man list this season.
Jalen Smith — All-Freshman Team
The lanky 6’10 forward had his ups and downs this season, but his final regular-season averages are quite impressive. Smith notched 11.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game, all in the top __ among Big Ten freshmen. He posted four double-doubles, including Friday night against Minnesota.
Smith is joined on the squad by Michigan’s Ignas Brazdeikis (the league’s Freshman of the Year), Indiana’s Romeo Langford, Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu and Iowa’s Joe Wieskamp.
Player of the Year: Cassius Winston, Michigan State
Freshman of the Year: Ignas Brazdeikis, Michigan
Defensive Player of the Year: Josh Reaves, Penn State
Sixth Man of the Year: Xavier Tillman, Michigan State
Coach of the Year: Matt Painter, Purdue
The Big Ten also hands out a sportsmanship award to one member from all 14 teams. Fernando was Maryland’s representative there as well.e as well