Maryland basketball players Melo Trimble, Jake Layman and Rasheed Sulaimon have each made preseason watch lists for national awards in the 2015-16 season.
Trimble, a sophomore, is listed for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award. He's not quite the favorite here; that'd be Providence guard Kris Dunn, but Trimble could be one of the 10 best players in the country this year. He's a clear All-American candidate and could have the best season of any Maryland player since Greivis Vasquez left town half a decade ago.
Layman, a senior, is on the watch list for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award. Layman played power forward for a smallish Maryland team last year, but the infusion of transfer junior Robert Carter and five-star freshman Diamond Stone have pushed him to the wing. If Layman can transition back to the three position as seamlessly as he moved away from it a season ago, he'll be positioned for a terrific year. The odds-on favorite here is LSU freshman Ben Simmons, one of the most talented rookies to come through the collegiate ranks in a generation.
Then there's Sulaimon, Maryland's athletic Duke transfer senior. Sulaimon has been showing up on preseason lists for four seasons now, but he's never quite broken out as one of the country's top players. He's on the list for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year honor, in what's really a loaded year with lots of veteran and freshman talent at that position. Oklahoma's Buddy Hield, Virginia's Malcolm Brogdon, Indiana's James Blackmon Jr. and Butler's Kellen Dunham are all experienced stars. And watch for another LSU freshman, Antonio Blakeney, to climb up this list.
Maryland started practicing at the start of the month. Maryland Madness is set for Saturday. Doors at Xfinity Center open at 4 p.m.