The Maryland basketball has several players that are essential to the team’s success.
However, Jake Layman may be Maryland’s MVP and most important piece.
Layman scored 16 points (5-of-7) and grabbed 10 rebounds in Maryland 66-61 win over Ohio State on Sunday. It was the third double-double of the season for Layman.
Obviously, guard Melo Trimble is the team’s star player and when he struggles, oftentimes so do the Terrapins. However, Layman affects the game in so many different ways that his value can’t be overstated.
“Jake is a rare player at the college level,” guard Rasheed Sulaimon said after Maryland’s 88-63 win over Rutgers on Jan 6. “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 does so many different things well and that’s what make him so crucial to Maryland’s success. The Massachusetts native can put the ball on the floor and score from the perimeter, rebound at a high rate, alter shots, and clog the passing lanes.
For example, with 27 seconds remaining in the first half, center Diamond Stone found himself at the free throw line and missed the front end of a one-and-one. As Stone’s shot clanged off the rim, Layman ran down the tough offensive rebound away from the basket and immediately made the decision to knife his way into the lane.
Layman was fouled by center Daniel Giddens and converted a pair of free throws. The two shots gave the Terps a 37-31 lead heading into the break, and it proved to be huge given how close the game ended up being.
Layman is such an efficient basketball player as he also excels on the defensive end and turns away 1.1 shots per game. His length is an incredible tool on both ends of the floor.
Layman almost certainly will hear his name called during June’s NBA Draft. Coming back for one more go-round definitely was the best decision that he could’ve made and he’s been so important to Maryland’s success this season.