Maryland basketball added a blue chip to its 2018 class on Monday evening when Baltimore-area prospect Jalen Smith announced his commitment to the Terps on Twitter. The 6-foot-10, 195-pound forward is rated as a four-star recruit by many recruiting pages and has flourished at Mount St. Joseph, recently winning the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Maryland.
“I believe that I can academically and athletically achieve my goals at home through my commitment to the UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND…..GO TERPS!!!!!,” Smith’s post said.
I've finally committed 😋😋🐢🔴🔴 pic.twitter.com/jkouoEq2zx
— Jalen Smith (@JalenSmith2000) June 27, 2017
Along with his national award, Smith won the Baltimore Sun Player of the Year and is rated as the 37th-best player in the country by ESPN. According to 247sports.com’s composite ratings, Smith is the second-highest rated recruit to commit to the Terps in the past 15 years behind only Diamond Stone in 2015.
As a junior, Smith averaged 17 points, nine rebounds and three blocks per game to lead the Gaels to a 35-3 record.
Syracuse, Villanova, Virginia and Miami were among other programs targeting Smith, 247sports reports.
When the time comes, Smith should slide right in and make an immediate impact with his menacing length, offensive gifts on the wing and rim-protecting defensive tenacity.
Smith joins North Carolina guard prospect Aaron Wiggins, rated as the 65th-best player in the country by ESPN, in Maryland’s 2018 class.
The Washington Post’s Roman Stubbs reports that Maryland is also “in heavy pursuit” of some of the country’s best, including Baltimore-area prospect Immanuel Quickley, who named the Terps one of his four finalists earlier in June, as well as five-star center Moses Brown, four-star forward Silvio De Sousa, five-star guard Keldon Johnson and four-star guard Devon Dotson.