Maryland basketball’s star freshman center, Bruno Fernando, has announced that he will be entering the NBA Draft, leaving the Terps in a difficult position.
Maryland basketball’s star freshman center, Bruno Fernando, has announced that he will be entering the NBA Draft, according to 247Sports‘ Jeff Ermann on Twitter.
This move puts Maryland basketball in a difficult spot, as Fernando was expected to be one of the biggest building blocks for the Terps going forward. Along with the loss of star forward Justin Jackson to the NBA, the Terps are going to be hard-pressed to be a top team next year.
Fernando ended last season averaging 10.3 points per game and 6.5 rebounds per game. He really came alive towards the end of the Maryland basketball season, averaging 14.5 points per game and 8.5 rebounds per games, shooting 63% from the floor in the last five games of the year. Fernando also shot 74% from the free throw line, which is especially good for a big man.
More from Maryland Terrapins
- Maryland Football: Terps honor Jordan McNair, beat Longhorns 34-29
- Maryland Terrapins: Roundup of Headlines in Maryland Sports
- Where Will Maryland Basketball’s Kevin Huerter Land in 2018 NBA Draft?
- Maryland Terrapins Offensive Lineman Jordan McNair Dies
- Remembering Maryland Basketball’s Cliff Tucker: Top 5 Best Moments
It is worth noting though that, while Fernando has declared for the NBA Draft, he is not hiring an agent, so there is a chance that he returns. The Terps will certainly be hoping he does return, as losing both Fernando and Jackson makes the Terps’ frontcourt a significant weakness rather than the strength it has been.
With the loss of Fernando, Jackson, and Michael Cekovsky to graduation, the Terps’ next-best big man would be Ivan Bender, who averaged 3.4 points per game and 2.9 rebounds per game last year.
It would also make a lot more sense for Fernando to spend another year in college to iron out his rough edges and boost up his draft stock. He’s got the potential and talent of a first-rounder, but after this season, I doubt he goes there. If he were to stick around another season, he could put on a showcase of his talent and prove why he belongs in the first round.
Losing talented players to early departures to the NBA Draft has been a growing trend for Maryland basketball. Along with Fernando and Jackson, the Terps have lost Melo Trimble, Robert Carter, and Diamond Stone in the past to the NBA.