By Connor Bell.
It has been a rocky offseason since Maryland’s early exit from the NCAA Tournament.
The Terrapins already knew they were losing seniors L.G. Gill and Damonte Dodd, but weeks later found out superstar Melo Trimble was leaving for the NBA. As if that was not enough, freshman Micah Thomas announced he will transfer and just recently, guard Jalen Brantley announced he will also leave the Terps for another team.
This leaves the roster with 11 players and four scholarships open to be taken. The Terps however, have two incoming freshmen that will take the two of those scholarships, Bruno Fernando and Darryl Morsell.
Fernando is listed as a 6-foot-10, 235-pound center coming out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He originally committed to the SMU Mustangs on April 1, 2016, but later de-committed May 16. He visited Maryland on September 30 of last year and committed to the Terps just three days later.
Fernando brings a much-needed big-man presence to an otherwise small Terps squad. Michael Cekovsky will most likely be that big man to start for Maryland next season, but the 7-foot-1 junior from Slovakia has been plagued with injuries and inconsistency over his time at Maryland. With the lack of big men, Fernando could step in right away and take a starting spot at the power forward position next season.
The other commit Maryland has on board for next season is 6-foot-4 guard Darryl Morsell. Morsell comes out of Baltimore’s Mount St. Joseph High School and committed to the Terps on November 2 over Villanova and Notre Dame.
Morsell has a physique like Jared Nickens, a wide wingspan and an ability to shoot the long-range jump shot. However, he is versatile, and has no problem driving through the heart of the defense at the paint and finishing at the rim better than settling for outside shots.
Morsell probably won’t start next season given Justin Jackson and Kevin Kevin Huerter have a similar style of play to the freshman with more experience. However, Morsell and Nickens coming off the bench could prove to be a deadly shooting combination
Maryland will also benefit from Sean Obi — an incoming graduate transfer from Duke. Obi is a 6-foot-9 big man who only played a total of 27 minutes at Duke because of injury, but he should find immediate playing time in College Park.
The Terps are still in need of a backup point guard to Cowan. Redshirt freshman Travis Valmon is most likely the front runner for the position, but Maryland has until May 17 to sign another incoming freshman.
As it stands right now the starting five will most likely be Anthony Cowan at point guard, Huerter and Jackson at the “2” and “3,” Cekovsky at the “5” and then a battle between Fernando and Obi for the “4” spot. The bench will have Nickens, Morsell, Valmon, Ivan Bender and whoever doesn’t win the final spot on the starting roster between Obi and Fernando.