The first day of Peach Jam, generally considered the biggest AAU event of the summer, is in the books. The day's big winner, as far as Maryland is concerned? That'd probably be Jake Layman, who, per NBE, once again stood out and continued to raise his stock.
A 6'8" combo forward, Layman has been growing by leaps and bounds this spring. Offensively, he has range to the 3 point line and can also use a few dribbles and finish high above the rim. On Defense, he mans the front of BABC's vaunted press and uses his incredible length to give opposing back courts fits. Once thought to be a mid-major prospect Layman has clearly elevated himself to high-major status and should have a long list of suitors by the end of July.
Layman appears to be in the middle of small blow-up, one that will likely finally see him climb in the rankings. Have to say - the good reports have grown on me, and I still like his versatility.
Meanwhile - and I'm loathe to even mention this due to the pipe dreamedness of it - Mark Turgeon watched Ricardo Ledo's first game.
It would appear that Maryland has inserted itself in that race, or at least is trying. That's pretty much the definition of coming late to the party - yeah, let's start recruiting a five-star after Kentucky and UConn have established themselves as favorites - but you have to appreciate his ambition. Oh, and Ledo dominated, unsurprisingly. He's third in the camp in scoring so far, having dropped 29 against Rodney Purvis and CP3, causing Rivals to praise his offensive ability:
The offense really does come easy for Ricardo Ledo, the guy is as pure a scorer as there is in high school basketball. Deep range, athleticism, handles and a knack for getting clean looks at the rim.
Everyone already knew that, of course, so it's doubtful that, unless Ledo just goes off in the next few days, dominating offensive performances will cause any sort of rise in the rankings for him. Not that he needs them, of course.
One interesting thing: Peach Jam keeps track of stats up to the minute, unlike any other AAU tourney I know if. And one of the two players who are scoring more than Ledo right now: Maryland fringe target, Isaiah Zierden. A sweet-shooting 2-guard who plays for Minneapolis-based Howard Pulley, Zierden admittedly suffers from Tyler Lewis syndrome - he kind of looks like a little kid. Being 6-2 doesn't help.
But he's played bigger than he looks. He's dropped 49 points through two games (31 against Canadian-based CIA Bounce), which is good for second in the tournament. Unsurprisingly, he's doing it with the 3-ball; he's hit 9, leading the tournament, and is shooting 42% from deep. It's interesting, because his skillset is, from what I can tell, almost the same as Christian Sanders, whom Turgeon may prefer, and even Seth Allen, who's already committed. For whatever reason, it does seem as if Turgeon's looking for another undersized 2-guard. If Zierden plays this well for the rest of the tourney, it'll be interesting to see if Maryland pushes.
Jodan Price falls into that category, too, and he also had a strong day, though perhaps not as strong as Zierden's. He dropped six three-pointers against the NJ Playaz, going "bucket for bucket" with insanely-good Kyle Anderson. It looks like his second game wasn't as strong, but he's still that typical deep sharpshooter. The good news is that, unlike Zierden or Sanders, he isn't ridiculously undersized; in fact, he's long and lanky at 6-7. A bit Faustian so perhaps again unnecessary, but so are Sanders and Zierden.
The only other stat of note: Jerami Grant being second in the camp in free throws attempted. His big hang-up earlier in the summer was supposedly aggressiveness, but that appears to be well taken care of.