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Maryland guard Serrel Smith Jr. announces transfer to East Tennessee State

Serrel Smith Jr. has two seasons of eligibility remaining. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Maryland guard Serrel Smith Jr. announced Wednesday he will transfer to East Tennessee State. Smith decided to leave the Terrapins men’s basketball program in late May.

Smith, who has two seasons of eligibility remaining, will have to sit out his first year with the Buccaneers unless he receives a waiver from the NCAA to play immediately.

A 6-foot-4 shooting guard from St. Petersburg, Fla., Smith played in 61 games for the Terps but never had a large role. As a sophomore this past season, Smith played 7.6 minutes per game and averaged 1.5 points. He played more than 10 minutes in only 10 games during the 2019-20 campaign, when Maryland won a share of the Big Ten regular season title.

Smith’s playing time decreased after he averaged nearly 12 minutes per game as a freshman. Hakim Hart, a rising sophomore, played ahead of Smith for a stretch late in the season.

Even though Maryland still has three open scholarship spots on the roster, the depth chart is crowded on the wing. With established returners Aaron Wiggins, Darryl Morsell and Hart, Smith did not have a clear path toward significant playing time.

Smith is one of three Maryland players who left the program this offseason. Forward Ricky Lindo Jr. transferred to George Washington with two seasons of eligibility remaining, and forward Joshua Tomaic will play his final season at San Diego State. All three played sparingly last season, but Lindo could have been poised for a larger role as a junior.

The Terrapins have added two transfers — 6-9 forward Galin Smith from Alabama and 6-8 forward Jairus Hamilton from Boston College. Smith is a graduate transfer who can play immediately, while Hamilton must receive a waiver to be eligible next season. Both Smith and Hamilton will help fill the void left by the departures of Lindo, Tomaic and most notably Jalen Smith, who left school early to declare for the NBA draft.

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