Analyzing Maryland guard Jahmir Young’s return to Maryland

Maryland basketball’s leading scorer Jahmir Young has announced he will be returning to College Park for his fifth and final collegiate season.

Young – a Maryland native and DeMatha Catholic graduate – transferred to Maryland in 2022 after spending his previous three seasons at Charlotte. He averaged 15.8 points per game and helped lead the Terps to the second round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament.

When new head coach Kevin Willard took over the job in March of 2022, a major goal of his was to bring in the best talent from the DMV, which is a recruiting aspect that Maryland has lacked in recent years.

Willard wasted no time, as Young announced his commitment to Maryland on April 27 and withdrew from the NBA Draft on May 25, making him the first player from DeMatha to play for the Terps since Travis Garrison, who played from 2002-06.

Donate to Turtle NIL here, help Maryland basketball’s recruiting efforts and enter ‘IBG’ in the comment

Prior to the 2022-23 season, Young called his decision to return home “pretty easy.”

“It’s special, … it’s something that stands out,” he said about being the first Stag at Maryland in 20 years. “Something that also makes me unique and helps me stand out. But I just feel like it’s a special opportunity that we have and I have.”

Young’s arrival in College Park checked the first box off on Willard’s to-do list after overcoming arguably Maryland’s biggest hurdle when it comes to local recruiting, and how Young played gave the staff ammo to sell to other high-profile guards on the trail.

Young wasted no time making an impact for the Terps, as he scored 24 points and hit a game-sealing 3-pointer to knock off No. 16 Illinois in his first Big Ten conference game on Dec. 2.

Young turned up the dial in conference play, averaging 17.7 points per game and earned a spot on the All-Big Ten Second Team at the conclusion of the regular season.

His performance helped the Terps clinch an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, where they defeated No. 9 West Virginia by two points before suffering a season-ending loss to No. 1 Alabama.

Those two matchups were Young’s first taste of the NCAA Tournament, something he had dreamed about before transferring to Maryland.

“Just being able to get here, it’s like a dream come true,” he said prior to the tournament. “I’m just excited to be able to play, … from being a kid just watching March Madness, sitting in the living room on the couch to finally being able to play in March Madness.”

The Terps overachieved this past season by reaching the second round of the tournament after being picked 10th in the conference. With the departure of key role players such as Hakim Hart, Don Carey, Patrick Emilien and the pending decision of Donta Scott, the return of Young will help set the foundation for Willard in his second year.

Maryland welcomes the 16th ranked recruiting class nationally and third best in the Big Ten for 2023-24, highlighted by Paul VI. guard DeShawn Harris-Smith, who is the No. 32 recruit in the country and is expected to play a huge role for the Terps.

On the court, with Young returning, the backcourt tandem in College Park has the potential to be one of the more formidable duos in the country.

With Harris-Smith’s ability to handle the ball, Young’s role could shift to more of a combo-guard like he was at Charlotte, playing off the ball and looking to score more than create plays for others.

Jahari Long is also expected to return to round out Maryland’s rotation in the backcourt, giving Willard a chance to fill his backcourt with experience and explosiveness.

The guards will have the opportunity to share the ball-handling duties, similar to how guards Melo Trimble and Anthony Cowan Jr. did during the 2016-17 campaign.

At Maryland, Young took on the role of point guard and garnered most of the attention from opposing defenses. His growth as a leader and all-around playmaking point guard are what impressed Willard the most in their first season together.

“I just think his leadership on the court has been phenomenal,” Willard said of Young. “I think he has grown a really good voice. … He has done a great job.”

With Young back, Maryland will now be tasked filling the two-guard spot after Don Carey exhausted his eligibility. Attrition is still expected in the frontcourt to give the staff more room to work with ahead of year two, but Julian Reese will return.

Now, the combo of Young-Reese gives Maryland a proven high-low tandem set to disrupt next year’s Big Ten projections.

Surround the returning core of guys with new shooters and Willard could have Maryland destined for a potential Sweet 16 run.

But it starts with Young, and him back in the equation for Maryland basketball puts it right in the thick of things in the Big Ten for the 2023-24 season.

Related Links

Jahmir Young returning to Maryland for 2023-24 season

Five biggest questions for Maryland football this spring

VIP: roster expectations, intel on local QB (+)

Florida lineman enjoys familiarity, fit during first visit to Maryland (+)