If you haven't noticed yet, this week, we're giving you an introduction to Maryland's incoming class of basketball recruits. So far, we've covered guard Seth Allen and big man Shaq Cleare. Today, we meet the third member of the eight-man class: small forward Jake Layman.
Just two weeks after Cleare's commitment, Layman visited campus with the intention of taking future visits to Florida, Louisville and Syracuse.
But shortly after leaving campus, Layman phoned those coaches and told him he wouldn't be coming after all: he was going to be a Terp.
Layman was named all-state in Massachusetts by ESPN Boston, and earned a national ranking between 61st and 70th among the major recruiting websites after a breakout AAU season heading into his senior year.
As a junior, Layman averaged 25 points, 16 rebounds and seven blocks for King Philip Regional in a league not known for its basketball excellence. He ran with Boston Amateur Basketball Club, an AAU squad that featured Class of 2012 No. 1 overall player Nerlens Noel and caught fire on the cross-country circuit.
His games with BABC at Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League included an 8-for-8 shooting night from three-point range and a 9-for-10 night from beyond the arc in another.
His lanky 6-foot-8 frame and ability to stretch defenses with an outside shot create serious matchup problems for opposing defenses, who are forced to guard him with a shorter player or a slower player.
"I think the Maryland staff sees Jake as a player, not necessarily
plugged in to a particular position. The thing is, Jake can guard
different positions defensively, and that allows the staff to use him in
different ways against different opponents," said Sean McInnis, Layman's high school coach.
So it was no surprise that high-major programs like Florida, Louisville, Maryland, Missouri, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Wake Forest were chasing him.
Layman, who has a game similar to former Duke star and NBA forward Mike Dunleavy. ESPN's Dave Telep noted that he is "a very good athlete ... He has good touch on his jump shot and projects as a very good three-point shooter down the road."
But because he's just 190 pounds, he's going to have to get stronger to be able to defend college big men. He's great at shooting off picks, but struggles at times to create his own shot.
"It's a dream come true for me to sign with Maryland and I couldn't be happier. The school, Coach Turgeon and all the other coaches, I love them and I get along with the players really well so that was good. ... I'm very excited about the opportunity to play in the best conference in America and play at the Comcast Center," Layman said after committing.
As a senior, he averaged 27 points, 16 rebounds, six blocks, three assists and three steals. He'll be the last member of the incoming class to arrive on campus as he made the final roster for Team USA's men's U-18 squad, led by Florida coach Billy Donovan.