Jahmir Young, pair of Maryland basketball freshmen make preseason top ten lists

Maryland basketball is roughly one month away from kicking off the 2023-24 season as head coach Kevin Willard meshes a healthy blend of veteran leadership and impact freshmen together. With Jahmir Young back for year two in College Park running the show alongside Donta Scott and Julian Reese, the veteran point guard was recognized among the best point guards nationally heading into the season opener.

Jahmir Young was named the Big Ten’s best point guard and fifth-best nationally by Andy Katz on Monday, weeks after the fifth-year senior was named a Blue Ribbon Magazine Preseason All-American Third Team selection. Young proved himself as an impact player inside and out in year one at Maryland, averaging 15.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game last year while shooting 41.5% from the field. It was enough for Young to earn All-Big Ten second-team honors, while the dynamic point guard was named one of 40 players who will shape the 2023-24 season days ago.

“Young transferred from Charlotte to the Terrapins in 2022 to help head coach Kevin Willard put Maryland basketball back on the map and taste the NCAA Tournament. Young not only experienced March Madness, but he helped guide the Terps to a first-round win over West Virginia. The fifth-year guard will be one of the best in his conference and has the burst-ability to get buckets in bunches with nine 20-plus point performances this past year.”

The hope is that Young won’t have to shoulder the load again in the backcourt, and a big reason for optimism heading into the season is heralded freshman DeShawn Harris-Smith, the jewel of the 2023 class. The consistent  Harris-Smith was named the top impact freshman in the Big Ten by On3 on Monday.

“Deshawn Harris-Smith brings positional versatility to the table. The capability of fitting into multiple roles in a lineup and becoming a two-way threat. On this 2023-24 Maryland team, Harris-Smith should find his minutes alongside Jahmir Young. Harris-Smith is capable of initiating the offense, which would allow Young, a fifth-year senior who has scored 1,974 collegiate points, to look more toward scoring. Harris-Smith is also a versatile defender, able to use his athleticism and length to guard up or down a lineup. Minutes are available for him, and the fit makes a lot of sense.”

Former IMG Academy (FL) forward Jamie Kaiser wasn’t far behind Harris-Smith, checking in at sixth. Kaiser finished as the team’s top scorer in Maryland’s three games during the ten-day Italy trip, averaging 15.7 points and 6.7 points, as the sharpshooter is one of the primary options to alleviate Maryland’s shooting woes from one season ago. With early reports indicating that the former four-star can team up with second-year forward Noah Batchelor to fill the perimeter shooting void, Kaiser’s sharpshooting is what vaulted him safely inside On3’s top ten.

“In order for Maryland to reach its full potential this season, they need a shot maker to step up on the wing. Jamie Kaiser, a former D1 football recruit, steps on campus with toughness and a long-range jumper. The Terrapins return its four and five from last season, in Donta Scott and Julian Reese, as well as second-team All-Big Ten guard Jahmir Young. While Kaiser will not need to be featured, the opportunity is present.”

Maryland opens the regular season on Tuesday, Nov. 7 against Mount St. Mary’s for a 7 PM tipoff.

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