This week’s Sleeper Series features Maryland Terrapins big man Bruno Fernando. The 6-foot-10, 240-pound sophomore had a chance to declare for the NBA Draft last season, but decided to withdraw his name and return to college basketball.
He’s back at College Park for at least one more season. So far, he’s taking advantage. In his extra season he’s already been more consistent in his play and improved upon it.
Fernando struggled at times last season adjusting to the college basketball game, but found his footing at the end of his voyage. He had a stretch where he scored less than seven points in six out of seven games. However, he ended up finishing up on a high note, averaging 14.4 points and 8.8 rebounds in his final five games of the season.
That’s where he’s picked up this season. and has looked like a more complete player, even if his numbers aren’t as gaudy as some would like.
Here are some of his more important stats:
- 13.7 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 1.2 APG, 2.5 BPG
- 69.8 FG%, 71.4 FT%, 71.3 TS%
- 124 ORtg, 86.2 DRtg
The Angola native is still quite raw as a basketball player, but he’s shown consistent flashes this season of what he might become. He has a non-stop motor, which any NBA team will love and he looks to finish strong at the rim every chance he gets. Any time he can dunk he does and his energy on the offensive end cannot be overstated. Fernando does a lot of the dirty work a lot of players aren’t interested in and that will set him apart from a lot of other NBA Draft prospects come June.
Fernando is a gifted athlete who is a great shot blocker and strong rebounder. His shot is improving and he could eventually extend his shooting perimeters to at least the mid-range. He’s already got an NBA body, so that’s one less thing he has to worry about in his transition as well.
There are a few improvements that can be made for Fernando in his overall shooting, face-up game, low post game and his discipline on defense. The young man is a pretty great “project” for a team looking to throw out a solid rim protector while working on his offensive game.
It’s exactly why he’s going to get some good looks in the upcoming NBA Draft. In fact, he could possibly end up in the first round.
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