Following the two best games of his career in College Park, No. 15 Maryland basketball forward Jalen Smith was named the Big Ten Player of the Week Monday.
This is the first time Smith, who was the Big Ten Freshman of Week three times last year, has received the honor. In December, senior guard Anthony Cowan Jr. earned the accolade for the first time as well.
Smith was a force for Maryland against Northwestern Friday and Indiana Sunday, willing his team to victory on both occasions. Last week, the Mount Saint Joseph product averaged 27 points and 11 rebounds on 17-of-27 shooting from the field and 6-of-11 shooting from deep. He also broke his career record in points each game — 25 against the Wildcats and 29 against the Hoosiers — and notched his tenth and eleventh double-doubles of the season, respectively.
“He’s walking around with a little bit more of a swagger in between games and all that stuff. So he’s feeling really good about himself,” head coach Mark Turgeon said after Indiana. “We have a lot of guys playing with more confidence but Stix is really taking it to another level.”
Against the Hoosiers, Smith scored the game-winning basket from Cowan. The senior found Smith, who took one dribble and finished the layup over freshman standout Trayce Jackson-Davis with 14 seconds left, earning Maryland its first victory in Assembly Hall since joining the Big Ten. After the game, the Baltimore native taunted the Hoosier crowd — an action he then apologized for on Twitter.
The Terps will put their three-game winning streak to the test when they host No. 18 Iowa Thursday. These two teams met earlier this month, which resulted in Maryland’s worst loss of the season.