King Philip Regional forward Jake Layman told ESPNBoston.com earlier this evening that he has verbally committed to Maryland and head coach Mark Turgeon for the 2012-13 season. [...]
"My relationship with the coaches has been real strong, with every single coach," he told ESPNBoston.com.
"I like Coach Turgeoon's style of play, his offense is a good fit for me," he continued. "The ACC is a good conference for me, too. I think it's the most skilled conference in the country, I like it a lot. I've spent a lot of time with the players [on my visits], I know them real well, and they're easy to talk to, so that's good. Plus, I have the opportunity to be an impact player my freshman year."
Boo-ya. Best night ever?
(No, actually, but a very, very, very good night.)
Layman is either 6-8 or 6-9, depending on whom you ask, with long arms besides. He's very versatile, and could realistically play either the 3 or the 4 in college - or, honestly, the 2, if he develops his handle. He seriously blew up on the summer circuit, and is renowned for his great defensive tools and instincts. He's highly regarded, ranked as the #53 prospect by ESPN and the #41 prospect by Scout. He picked Maryland over Louisville, Notre Dame, and Syracuse, among others, plus some interest from Texas.
Having seen Layman play a few times, there's still work to do offensively. He's surprisingly smooth when handling the ball and reportedly has a decent jumper, but he drifts a lot and doesn't really assert himself. (Then again, not everyone on a team can.) That will come with experience.
He's really exciting defensively. His length and athleticism mean he can cover anywhere between the 2 and the 4, assuming it's not a particularly quick 2. He's not particularly quick, but his long strides make up for that somewhat. His defensive instincts are very good, and he disrupts passing lanes well. If Mark Turgeon wants to press, he has a great player to head it up in Layman.
There will inevitably be questions about how Layman affects the other combo forward targets Maryland has, like Jerami Grant and Amile Jefferson. Short answer: he shouldn't. Long answer: thanks to his versatility, he shouldn't. Grant, Jefferson, and Layman could all play either the 3 or the 4 in college. That ability to swing between positions means the commitment of one shouldn't affect the others, though you truly never know.
Layman is commitment #3 of Maryland's 2012 cycle, which is now in full swing. He joins Seth Allen and Shaquille Cleare as future Terrapins, setting the base for a class with a very high ceiling. With Jerami Grant and Amile Jefferson taking in the Miami-Maryland ambiance with Layman, there may just be another commitment or two on the way.