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MM 2.16 Former Maryland men’s basketball star Jalen Smith assigned to NBA G League

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

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Former Maryland men’s basketball forward Jalen Smith has been assigned to the NBA G League bubble in Orlando, Fl.

Smith, who was the 10th overall pick by the Phoenix Suns in last year’s NBA Draft, will play for the Los Angeles Clippers’ G League affiliate, as the Suns don’t have a G League team.

Originally sidelined by an ankle injury and subsequent COVID-19 positive test in late December, Smith didn’t get much of a chance to settle in and find his spot on the team in his rookie season. He is averaging 1.8 points and 1.3 rebounds over the course of eight games, all of which he started on the bench.

The Baltimore native cemented his legacy with the Terps with a Big Ten Conference title in 2020, averaging 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds for a Maryland team that was on pace to be a top-four seed in the NCAA tournament. After the rest of the NCAA season was canceled in mid-March, Smith announced he would be leaving Maryland to pursue a professional career.

The Suns are in a different position from many squads coming off of a lottery pick season. After showing glimpses of a resurgence in last summer’s regular-season bubble, they now sit fourth in the Western conference at 17-9.

The team landed two significant offseason additions in Chris Paul and Jae Crowder. With winning, not rebuilding, being the main objective for Monty Williams’ squad, Smith has to compete with established frontcourt starters Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges and Crowder. 2019 first-round pick Cameron Johnson and former Wisconsin star Frank Kaminsky further fill spots that Smith aims to occupy. Kaminsky wasn’t signed until Smith had to sit out games.

Smith and his former Maryland teammate Anthony Cowan Jr., who was selected by the Memphis Grizzlies’ G League affiliate last month, will square off on March 1.

In Other News

Henry and Lila recapped four main takeaways from Maryland men’s basketball’s win over Minnesota.

Wes previewed the Terps’ upcoming back-to-back against Nebraska.

Dylan shared his takeaways from Brenda Frese’s historic win with Maryland women’s basketball over Nebraska.

Maryland men’s basketball’s win over Minnesota catapulted it to the first team out of the tournament after falling below in the next four out category.

The Big Ten had a strong showing in the latest AP Top 25 rankings.

Maryland women’s basketball, fresh off of Head Coach Brenda Frese’s 500th win, was projected as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament yesterday.

Maryland women’s lacrosse got an early start to practice ahead of this weekend’s game at Penn State.

Men’s lacrosse prepares for this weekend’s home fixture against Michigan.