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Maryland basketball’s Anthony Cowan Jr., Jalen Smith land in top 5 of position award contender lists

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

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Maryland vs LSU Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland basketball hype train for 2019-20 has been chugging along since the last-second loss to LSU. The Terps have been in the top 10 in multiple preseason rankings throughout the offseason, and some players are now popping up on individual award watch lists.’s Andy Katz has senior guard Anthony Cowan Jr. as the No. 5 contender for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation’s top point guard, and sophomore forward Jalen Smith as the No. 4 contender for the Karl Malone Award for the nation’s top power forward.

Cowan and Smith are the top two returning scorers from last year’s team, and will be crucial to helping the team live up to elevated expectations. Cowan, who announced last week he was returning for his senior season, averaged a team-high 15.6 points and 4.4 assists per game, but struggled with consistency. Smith had his ups and downs like any college freshman, but averaged 11.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game last season and finished the year with consecutive double-doubles in the NCAA Tournament. He’s expected to take another leap forward this year, replacing Bruno Fernando as the go-to big man in Mark Turgeon’s offense.

The 2019-20 season is still five months away, and more watch lists and early rankings are sure to come for Turgeon’s deepest team since he came to College Park.

In other news

Despite being touted as the second-best team in the Big Ten, the Terps will play Notre Dame in this year’s ACC/Big Ten challenge. The Irish went 14-19 overall in 2018-19, finishing last in the ACC with a 3-15 record.

Baseball’s Maxwell Costes was named a Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Freshman All-American.

The Baltimore Sun’s Don Markus has a look at former All-American Keith Booth returning to coach basketball at his alma mater, the historic Dunbar High School in Baltimore.

Three Maryland athletes wrapped up their 2018-19 seasons Thursday at the NCAA Track and Field Championships. Graduate student Alexandra Lucki finshed her career as an honorable mention All-American in the 1500m, sophomore Xahria Santiago was named a second-team All-American in the 400m hurdles, and senior Jewel Smith finished her Maryland career by tying a personal best in the long jump. You can follow the results here.

Off Tackle Empire continued Maryland week with record predictions for the upcoming football season and a basketball preview.

Women’s basketball graduate transfer Sarah Myers will use her final year of eligibility at Samford.

And last but certainly not least, commenter extraordinaire Todd Carton named his all-time Maryland women’s lacrosse team, which is full of the sport’s legends.