In an expected move, Maryland's star forward Jalen Smith has officially declared for the 2020 NBA Draft ending a successful two-year career at College Park. 

The Baltimore native tweeted the news from his own account Tuesday thanking Terp nation for the last two seasons. 

"Thank you to TERP NATION," Smith wrote. "We were 16-1 at home due to your support and energy you guys brought every game. I'll cherish forever celebrating the Big Ten Championship with you. FEAR THE TURTLE.

"I am thankful and grateful for the opportunity to consult with my family and coaches in reaching the decision that the time is right for me to move forward to the next phase in my basketball career and declare for the 2020 draft," he said. 

Smith was a highly productive freshman in 2018-19, but this season he broke out to earn a first-team All-Big Ten selection was third-team AP All American. He averaged 15.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game while shooting 53.8% from the floor and 36.8% from three on 2.8 attempts per game. 

Along with senior Anthony Cowan Jr., Smith helped lead the Terps to a 24-7 record and a share of the Big-Ten regular-season title. We'll never know how well the team would've done in the NCAA tournament, since the coronavirus pandemic led to March Madness getting canceled.

There's a lot to be determined before the NBA Draft in June, but as of now, Smith projects as a late-first round pick. However, he could vault into lottery territory if a team falls in love with his rare skill set as a big man. 

 

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