Maryland Basketball: Terps absent from Big Ten All-Freshman team

Dec 7, 2016; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins guard Anthony Cowan (0) dribbles the ball in the first half against the Howard Bison at Xfinity Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 7, 2016; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins guard Anthony Cowan (0) dribbles the ball in the first half against the Howard Bison at Xfinity Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /

The Big Ten All-Freshman team was unveiled along with the other all-conference teams on Monday evening.

Surprisingly, there wasn’t a single Terrapin on the team despite Maryland having three extremely productive freshmen that contributed this season.

It was no secret that coach Mark Turgeon would be relying on the likes of Anthony Cowan, Kevin Huerter, and Justin Jackson this season. As the year went on, it was clear that these three were players that were going to make a significant impact.

Cowan and Jackson ended up averaging double figures and had their fair share of marquee performance as did Huerter.

Let’s take a look at what each of the members of the Big Ten All-Freshman team did throughout the 2016-17 season:

Miles Bridges – 16.6 points/8.3 rebounds/2.0 assists/40.8 percent from three

Jordan Bohannon – 9.8 points/4.5 assists/2.3 rebounds/39.0 percent from three

Tyler Cook – 12.0 points/5.1 rebounds/1.0 assists/25.0 percent from three

Amir Coffey – 12.0 points/3.9 rebounds/3.1 assists/34.1 percent from three

Tony Carr – 13.2 points/4.6 rebounds/4.2 assists/33.7 percent from three

It’s an impressive group of freshmen and there’s certainly no denying that. All five had their moments where they carried their respective teams and delivered big-time performances.

It’s no secret that Michigan State’s Miles Bridges was one of the most impressive freshmen in the entire country. Numbers like that are downright eye-popping for a guard, so Bridges’ spot is a given.

Iowa’s Tyler Cook also had a very strong freshman season. He was one of the top producers for the Hawkeyes and a force down low at times.

However, Justin Jackson put up numbers that are right on pair with Cook.

Jackson put together a stat line of 10.7 points/6.2 assists/1.0 assists this season. The East York, Ontario native also shot 44.0 percent from beyond the arc.

Yes, Cook averaged a little bit more in the points department, but it’s close enough to overlook. Jackson was easily the more versatile player as he made shots from everywhere on the court.

The only blemish for Jackson is probably that he didn’t finish the season strong as a whole. Over the final nine games, he averaged just 8.8 points and wasn’t knocking down his jump shot from regularity.

Still, Jackson led Maryland in rebounding and often found a way to impact the game even when he wasn’t scoring. A case can be made for Cook or Jackson, but Jackson arguably had a more complete season.

Another case worth making is Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon making the squad over Cowan.

Bohannon really burst onto the scene and was a huge factor for the Hawkeyes during conference play. He proved to be one of the better three-point shooters in the Big Ten.

Cowan put together a similar stat line to that of Bohannon. The former St. John’s College (D.C.) standout averaged 10.4 points/3.9 rebounds/3.7 assists.

One of Bohannon’s biggest strengths is his ability to shoot from beyond the arc. Obviously, Cowan doesn’t connect nearly as often as he shoots just 29.9 percent from three.

However, Cowan’s scoring and distributing is right on par with that of Bohannon. Cowan is also a great defender that can often slow down the opposing team’s primary scoring threat.

Aside from three-point shooting, the case can definitely be made that Cowan deserved to make the All-Freshman team over Bohannon. His importance can hardly be measured as he’s taken a tremendous amount of pressure off of Melo Trimble.

Again, the group that was selected is one that include five very talented players that have a bright future in the college ranks and beyond. All five deserve the attention that they have received throughout the season.

However, neither Cowan or Jackson making the five-player squad doesn’t make a ton of sense. Their importance to the Terps has been monumental and it’s hard to imagine where Maryland would be without their contributions.

Next: Lady Terps marching into the Madness

Regardless, Cowan, Jackson, and even Hueter will prove to be essential to any success that Maryland has in the postseason over the next few weeks.