As we focus on tonight’s game between Alabama and Maryland, an underlying storyline is to consider the possibility of this Terps team making a comeback next season. Jahmir Young, Donta Scott and Hakim Hart all have one final season of eligibility remaining due to the NCAA’s COVID-19 waiver.
I reached out to Scott and Young for updates.
Scott says he “hasn’t given it much thought” and his focus is on “the moment we’re in now.” However, he acknowledged the possibility of playing a fifth season.
“You always weigh your options,” he said. “I’ll weigh that option, see if I like it or not, and if not, then I’ll move on to another option. Know what I mean? (Return) is an option I have to consider. Just because when I come back, I would be able to help a lot of the guys understand their roles on the field and understand how they really lock in to win games.”
Scott, 22, a four-year starter at College Park, has played in 128 career college games. He averaged 11.5 points and 6.0 rebounds this season.
As for Young, the second-team All-Big Ten point guard is in an interesting spot. He spent the first three years of his college career at Charlotte. His transition to Maryland and the Big Ten went as well as anyone could imagine, and he now has a taste of playing high-major ball. Does he want more is the question.
Young, 22, told me he will “make a quick decision” shortly after the season ends, whether that’s tonight or in two weeks.
“Really just sitting down with my family, discussing my options, discussing my future, what do I want to do,” Young said. “I’m not getting any younger. So, it’s really just to see, can I do it again? Really just asking myself some hard questions. It’s going to be sitting down and making the best decision possible for me.
One thing that is clear is that some decisions to return or leave will have an impact on other decisions to return or leave. Young said a teammate like Scott deciding to come back for another year “definitely weighs.”
“There’s a lot that weighs in — definitely like other guys coming back as well,” Young said. “It’s just communication, guys being honest with each other, saying what they want to do, but also what we can do together.”
Young is averaging 15.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists this season. If he returns, Kevin Willard will have the considerable luxury of building his Year 2 team around an all-conference point guard.
Hart, 21, the third possible veteran returner, is averaging 11.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He will be tasked with guarding Brandon Miller tonight when Maryland goes man-to-man.
As for Hart’s decision, it’s worth noting that he and Scott are both from Philadelphia and have been close friends since the age of 10.
(Photo: Marvin Gentry / USA Today)