Donta Scott returning to Maryland basketball for 2023-24 season

Maryland will have a second key piece back for the 2023-24 season as senior forward Donta Scott will return to the program for a fifth season.

Scott returns alongside Jahmir Young next season to give head coach Kevin Willard three returning starters with Julian Reese manning the frontcourt heading into year two. Scott’s decision ends a long-lasting wait-or-go decision that seemingly began with him expected to explore the pro route before buzz emerged that the transfer portal was a growing option. After meeting with head coach Kevin Willard a pair of times last week, a return to College Park became increasingly likely over both the portal and pro route.

Ironically, Scott’s return puts head coach Kevin Willard one over the scholarship limit as the roster stands, despite still suffering attrition this offseason. Ike Cornish kicked off the offseason by entering the transfer portal, while Hakim Hart elected to declare for the 2023 NBA Draft while maintaining eligibility. But the scholarship situation changed after LMU guard Chance Stephens announced his transfer during his weekend visit.

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With the latest news, Willard adds an accomplished scorer to next year’s roster and someone who can play either the three or four. Scott ended the season as one of 17 Terps to surpass 1,000 career points and 600 rebounds and became the 59th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points. He currently ranks 28th in career scoring with 1,320 points and is tied for 15th in rebounding with 704 career boards. As a senior, Scott finished fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 11.3 points and six rebounds per game. He had two double-doubles on the year including 14 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Wisconsin. He was pivotal in the wins over Saint Louis and Miami where he scored 25 and 24 points and in the win over Indiana, he had 19 points and five boards.

Scott was among the core group of players that Willard worked to retain amid the coaching transition with the two running into each other on Willard’s first day on campus. “I still wanted to be a Terp,” Scott said last year. “Just because our coach left doesn’t mean our fans left and our fan base completely gave up on us. They’re still here, and that’s what I really came to this school for.”

Scott drew consistent praise last offseason after trimming nearly 30 pounds as he stepped into a revamped role as a veteran.

“My main focus with him was that he has a game that can play in the NBA [but] he did not have a body that can play in the NBA,” Willard said last November. “Our total focus this off-season was to get his body into a place where he can play 35 minutes … 35 effective minutes.”

Donta Scott has played in 125 games overall which is tied as the 27th most in program history, while his 110 starts are tied for 14th. His 3,651 career minutes played also rank 13th-best among all Terps. Scott ended the 2022-23 season as an All-Big Ten honorable mention.

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