Maryland big man Jalen Smith had a very strong final season for the Terps, averaging 15.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocks while leading UMD to a Big Ten title. He says he did all of that while playing out of position.
That could be a reference to big men Makhi and Makhel Mitchell transferring out midseason. Smith had to play center when he, and apparently the coaching staff, felt he was a natural power forward.
"I was pretty much playing out of position most of the year because [coach Mark] Turgeon wanted me to play the four, but most of the year I played at the five due to issues we had behind the scenes with the team," Smith said.
It's worth noting Smith may have to play center in the NBA given his size (6-foot-10) and with the way league trends are heading.
Smith made those comments while addressing the media as part of the 2020 NBA Draft Combine on Monday afternoon. He pointed to the odd circumstances of his sophomore year in College Park, but also referred to it as an all-around success.
"At the end of day, I brought my team a championship and its first since it came into the Big Ten, so I feel as though my year was a great accomplishment," he said.
Smith was named to the All-Big Ten team as well as Big Ten All-Defense. He is a projected first round pick.
Smith said he has already spoken to the Wizards, Spurs, Raptors, Bulls, Nets and Suns in the pre-draft process.