Bruno Fernando’s commitment gives Maryland basketball their first recruit in the class of 2017.
With Diamond Stone in the NBA, Damonte Dodd and L.G. Gill both seniors and Michal Cekovsky having just one season of eligibility beyond this year, head coach Mark Turgeon was looking to add a bit a toughness and skill to the Maryland Terrapins’ future front court.
On Sunday, the program did just that as the Terps received a commitment from four-star 2017 center Bruno Fernando. The 6’9″, 217 pound big chose the Terps over offers from Auburn, Alabama, Florida State, LSU, SMU and Marquette, among others.
The one time SMU commit (in 2016) is currently ranked 71st in ESPN’s top 100 and is labeled as the 10th best center in the class of 2017. The Florida native played his high school basketball at Montverde Academy, the school that helped elevate Ben Simmons and D’Angelo Russell’s careers, but has transferred to IMG Academy to play a post-grad year.
Fernando is a tough, strong player who will give the Terps a legitimate weapon on the glass on both ends of the floor. His physicality helps him secure and create space on the block, finish through contact and play tough defense.
But Fernando has even more tools than just his strength and ability to block shots, according to Scout.com.
Fernando has a good set of hands and is a talented passer from the block and in the high post. Fernando is capable of making mid-range jumpers and has also developed a right jump hook when he posts.
The Florida native will likely need to work on his consistency from the mid-range and changing up his post moves on the interior, however, it wouldn’t be surprising if the big man makes an instant impact in college in 2017-18.
Maryland has three freshman forwards joining the roster in 2016-17, but they still needed depth down in the paint. Justin Jackson and Micah Thomas can both play as small ball fours, but they are also versatile enough to impact the game at the three-position.
Then there’s Joshua Tomaic, a power forward from Spain, who will likely need time to adjust to the up-tempo speed of the American college game.
That leaves just 7’1″ Michal Cekovsky and 6’9″ Ivan Bender as experienced players in the Terps front court lineup.
Fernando obviously is a solid addition. But with two key departures expected (Dodd and Gill) after this season, the Terps could use another forward/center from either the transfer market or the recruiting trail to play beside their newest recruit.
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