Position: PF
Height/Weight: 6-10 / 225 lbs
School/Club: Maryland
Status: Sophomore
Birthday: 03/16/2000

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About Jalen Smith

Jalen Smith is a tall forward who showed considerable growth as an inside-outside scorer and defender to establish himself as one of the best players in the Big Ten in his sophomore season at Maryland.  Emerging as a prospect early in his career, Smith was widely regarded as one of the top-20 prospects in the high school class of 2018 earning McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American honors.  Averaging 11.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game as a freshman, Smith flashed potential several areas, but broke out in a major way in his second season under Head Coach Mark Turgeon.

Helping establish Maryland as a favorite in the Big Ten, Smith averaged 15.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks over 31.3 per game playing quite a bit of center on his way to earning a spot on the All-Big Ten 1st Team.   

  • Standing 6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan and a 225-pound frame, Smith has good dimensions for a power forward though he has had an easier time adding weight to his upper body than his lower body.  More mobile than quick, he is a coordinated big man that plays with steady energy.
  • Asserting himself in a variety of ways last season, Smith’s ability to make set shots and use his size around the rim stood out at times.  A versatile roll man, reliable catch and finish weapon, diligent rim-runner, and capable back to the basket threat, his consistency and efficiency across a grueling Big Ten slate was key for a Maryland team that was not flush with perimeter shooting.
  • Displaying good instincts protecting the rim and improvement as a rebounder, Smith held his own against some of the best centers in college basketball as a senior despite giving up strength in some matchups.

Defensive Analysis

  • Showing some timing and tenacity on the defensive end, Smith had some nice moments as a shot blocker and rebounder in his first year anchoring the Terrapins from the center spot.
  • Allowing 0.67 points per post up possession [74th percentile], he held his own against some of the best back to the basket scorers in the country, but is more comfortable inside than on the perimeter and would benefit from continuing to get stronger to hold ground both when guarding and boxing out.

Career Highlights

  • Unanimous 2019-20 All-America Third Team selection.
  • Top-five finalist for the 2019-20 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award as a sophomore.
  • Top-10 finalist for the 2019-20 Naismith Player of the Year Award and top-20 for the Wooden Award.
  • 2019-20 All-Big First Team and All-Defensive Team pick.
  • 2018-19 Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection.

Sophomore (2019-20)

  • Averaged 15.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.35 blocked shots, ranking second in the Big Ten in both rebounding and blocks.
  • Finished third nationally and led the conference with 21 double-doubles.
  • Ranked fourth in the league in field goal percentage (53.8) and made 36.8 percent (32-of-87) from three-point range.
  • Scored a career-high 29 points at Indiana (Jan. 26).
  • Recorded 22 points and a career-high 19 rebounds vs. Northwestern (Feb. 18).
  • Led Maryland to a share of the Big Ten regular-season title.


  • Very fluid and agile for his size.
  • Shows good timing and instincts as a rim protector.
  • Shows potential as a shooter with a soft touch.
  • Solid finisher around the rim.


  • Nickname is “Stix.”
  • Sports hero is Kobe Bryant.
  • Majored in information science at Maryland. Goal is to play in the NBA but his listed alternative is computer programming.
  • Father, Charles, is a retired Navy officer and was a big fan of Maryland legend Len Bias.


“I know my offense is always going to come to me, so I’m not really worried about that. I just focus my emphasis on defense, and once I get my rebounds going and my defense going, offense just flows.”

- Smith, on his approach to the game