Maryland junior forward Jake Layman will forgo the NBA draft and return for his senior season, the school announced on Thursday via twitter . The junior was the Terrapins' leading rebounder, averaging 5.8 per game, and their third-leading scorer, averaging 12.5 points per contest this past season.
Layman averaged 30.1 minutes per game last season and was one of Maryland's best front court players. He once again showed year-over-year improvement, going from 11.7 to 12.5 ppg, from 5 to 5.8 rpg, and from 0.9 to 1.4 apg. He also improved his free throw percentage from 71.9 percent to 75.2 percent this season and increased his percentage from beyond the arc, going from 36.5 percent to 37.8 percent.
"Jake has been an outstanding member of our program for the last three years," Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said via a press release from the school. "He is a great teammate, very coachable and has been extremely loyal to Maryland Basketball. Jake's growth both on and off the court has been exciting to watch and his leadership is going to be vital to our success next season."
One of Layman's biggest improvements this season was his ability to drive, get to the hoop, and finish at the rim, where he made 69.1 percent of his shot attempts. This ability allowed Layman to rely far less on shooting from beyond the arc to score points. In the 2013-14 season, 53.5 percent of Layman's shot attempts came from beyond the arc. This past season, that number dropped to 39.1 percent. That made Layman into a more well-rounded player which in turn made him a much more attractive NBA prospect, but it appears he'll try to continue to improve his game during his final year at Maryland.
Mark Turgeon's team has been picked by many already to be a top-five team next season and the return of Layman will likely continue to fuel those early expectations.
"I would like to thank Coach Turgeon for his guidance during this process," Layman said. "Maryland is my home and we had great success this year. There is so much to look forward to next season and I'm excited to be a part of it."