It’s official, Terps fans. According to Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon, forward Jake Layman will return for his senior season.
As a junior, Layman averaged 12.5 points and a team-best 5.9 rebounds per game. In doing so, he helped Maryland reach its first NCAA tournament under Mark Turgeon and its first big dance berth since 2010, when Hall of Famer Gary Williams was head coach.
Though Layman only posted seven points per contest over Maryland’s two NCAA Tournament games, his return indicates a bright future for the Terps next year.
Consider this: Maryland made its Big Ten debut this year after years of being an ACC staple and put together an overall record of 28-7 (14-4 Big Ten), a huge step up from last year’s mark of 17-15 (8-10 ACC).
Next season, the team is bound to have a dominant front court with Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter coming in to man the power forward position and McDonald’s All-American Diamond Stone expected to play center. Throw in the return of point man Melo Trimble, and this team will be a definite Final Four contender.
The incoming players will also allow the 6-foot-8 Layman to move to his more natural position at small forward, allowing him to work the wing and focus on his scoring game rather than have to stand and bang in the paint as the team’s go-to rebounder, though he is more than capable of doing so.
His return is a boon for a Maryland program on its way to becoming a top contender again, and makes this writer all the more excited for next season.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports