Even when he’s not scoring, Jake Layman is making an impact.
The senior continued that trend on Wednesday as he affected the game in multiple aspects.
Layman contributed a game-high 18 points, four rebounds, two blocks, and an assist in an 88-63 win over Rutgers. The Maryland forward managed to play a strong game on both ends of the basketball court.
Layman hasn’t scored in double figures since Maryland’s win against Princeton on Dec. 19. However, the Massachusetts native still nearly always manages to have his handprint on the game in some capacity.
“He’s trying to himself going,” coach Mark Turgeon said. “He’s getting to the foul line and doing some different things. He’s a smart kid. His activity on defense has been tremendous. He’s playing like a senior.”
In the opening half, Layman showed his defensive prowess against one of the talented Scarlet Knight guards.
With 9:56 remaining in the first half, Rutgers guard Corey Sanders drove to the basket. Despite Sanders’ move to slash to the space that Layman didn’t occupy, the Maryland senior was still able to swat away the attempted layup with little hesitation.
To make the play even more impressive, Sanders missed his second opportunity due to Layman’s defensive presence and Layman also was able to secure the defensive rebound.
“Jake is a rare player at the college level,” guard Rasheed Sulaimon said. “A 6’9 guy that’s athletic and can shoot the ball. It (Wednesday’s performance) shows how much he’s grown from past years. Most guys feel like if they don’t score, they feel like they’re not a part of the game.”
Layman’s size is one of the biggest attributes. He’s oftentimes a mismatch inside the arc, including when he’s shadowing smaller guards that attempts to shoot over him.
His length causes many perimeter players to alter their shots, just so they lift the ball over the fingertips of Layman.
Layman also shot the basketball much better against the Scarlet Knights.
Entering Wednesday’s game, the Maryland forward had only connected on two of his last nine attempts from beyond the arc. However, Layman was very efficient against Rutgers as he converted three of his five attempts from long-range.
While Layman was very successful from the perimeter, he didn’t settle for shots from beyond the arc. He continued to play smart basketball.
Three of his field goals came when Layman was being aggressive around the rim. Whether he was putting up a shot in the lane or grabbing an offensive rebound and immediately putting the ball back up on the cylinder, he was playing with great resolve.
Layman certainly showed just how important of a player he is to the Terps. He displays so many phenomenal attributes that set apart from many forwards in the Big Ten and even the country.
“He’s shown a lot of maturity and even if he’s not scoring as much as he wants to, he still affects the game whether that be on defense or on the glass or just bringing energy or leadership for us,” Sulaimon added.