Maryland men's basketball forward Justin Jackson will forgo the NBA Draft and return to school, according to a release.
Jackson declared for the draft April 27 and didn't sign with an agent, affording him the opportunity to participate in the NBA Draft combine and workouts while having the option to return to Maryland for his sophomore season.
The 6-foot-7, 225-pound swingman reportedly impressed scouts at the combine with his two-way ability and 7-foot-3 wingspan. He put those skills on display in his second scrimmage, recording 11 points, five steals and three blocks. The Ontario native reportedly worked out with the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday before making a decision by the May 24 deadline.
"I'm excited to return for my sophomore year at Maryland and look forward to building upon the success we had last season," Jackson said in a release. "The experience that I had participating in the NBA Scouting Combine will be beneficial in my long-term development. I can't wait to get back to College Park and begin workouts with my teammates this summer."
While DraftExpress didn't predict he would be drafted, some experts believed Jackson could have been picked in the first round following his showings this past month. The reported consensus among scouts, however, was he should develop in school another year. DraftExpress predicts Jackson to be the No. 21 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
Jackson will return to College Park as one of the Terps' top contributors, along with rising sophomores Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan. Last season, Jackson averaged the second-most points on the team (10.5), led the squad in rebounds per contest (six) and shot 43.8 percent from the 3-point line. His savvy was on display during Maryland's games against Minnesota and Ohio State in late January, when Jackson combined for 50 points and 22 rebounds.
With guard Melo Trimble, who led the Terps in scoring the past three seasons, leaving for the NBA Draft, Jackson will have a chance to progress as a scorer and advance the Terps to their first NCAA tournament without Trimble since 2010.
"Justin has a bright future," coach Mark Turgeon said in a release. "We are confident he will continue to develop as both a player and a person and be a major contributor to our program."
While Jackson would likely play small forward in the NBA, he played primarily power forward for the Terps last season, especially when other frontcourt players battled injuries.