Wiggins cracks the top 100 on some lists of draft prospects, and he could rise into the second round if he impresses during pre-draft workouts. The NBA draft combine is June 21 to 27. Players must withdraw from the draft by July 19 to preserve their collegiate eligibility.
“Eric and Aaron are making smart decisions to get feedback from NBA organizations that will lead to informed choices for their futures,” Coach Mark Turgeon said in a statement. “They are both incredible representatives of the University of Maryland and we will support them throughout the entire process.”
Wiggins, a 6-foot-6 wing from Greensboro, N.C., averaged 14.5 points this season, second on the team behind Ayala. Wiggins played particularly well in the last few months of the season. He averaged nearly 17 points in the final 15 games, and in Maryland’s season-ending loss to Alabama in the second round of the NCAA tournament, he scored a career-high 27 points. Wiggins also was second on the team in rebounds at 5.8 per game, and he became one of the team’s best passers, averaging 2.5 assists.
Wiggins has improved each season in College Park. Following the departures of forward Jalen Smith and point guard Anthony Cowan Jr. last offseason, he became Maryland’s best player, and he played with more confidence and aggressiveness.
Ayala, who is 6-5, led Maryland in scoring at 15.1 points. The Terps didn’t have a true point guard, so Ayala handled that role until sophomore guard Hakim Hart took over later in the season. Point guard Fatts Russell, a Rhode Island transfer, recently committed to the Terps, so neither player would need to play on the ball as much next season.
If Ayala and Wiggins return to Maryland, Turgeon could have an experienced starting lineup of the two senior guards, Russell, junior forward Donta Scott and center Qudus Wahab (a transfer from Georgetown).
In that scenario, Maryland would have Hart and senior forward Jairus Hamilton coming off the bench. James Graham III, a 17-year-old rising sophomore guard/forward who joined the team as an early enrollee in December, could become a key rotation player after an offseason of development. Maryland also will welcome two freshmen: power forward Julian Reese and shooting guard Ike Cornish, both four-star prospects from Baltimore.
Following the departures of sophomore center Chol Marial and freshman point guard Aquan Smart, who both chose to transfer after playing sparingly, Turgeon has one more scholarship to fill. Additional spots will open if Wiggins or Ayala do not return. If either chooses to begin his professional career, Maryland presumably would look to add a scorer.
But if Wiggins and Ayala come back, Turgeon will have one of his deepest squads — and one that is likely to enter the 2021-22 season as at least a top-15 team.