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Jake Layman will have to adjust his role to maximize loaded Maryland basketball roster

There was a lot of change to the identity of Maryland Basketball this offseason. The new talent now has to embrace their roles, and the returning talent now has to adjust to the new faces. Jake Layman may have to do the most adjustment to his game, which the numbers say he is ready to do.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The dust has finally settled in what could turn out to be one of the most important offseasons in Maryland basketball history.  The pieces have fallen into place, and these pieces include the return of potential NBA prospects Melo Trimble and Jake Layman, the commitment of 5-star recruit Diamond Stone, Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon, and the eligibility of the seemingly forgotten Robert Carter.  That's the making for a hell of a puzzle.  On paper, Maryland looks nothing short of absolutely filthy.  However, as we know, the game is not played on paper. Turgeon is now faced with the task of putting these pieces in the perfect places, in order to ensure a cohesive unit and maximize the potential of every weapon on the roster.  Today, we will take a look at Jake Layman and how he fits into the puzzle.

Jake Layman, more so than any other player on the roster, will be asked to adjust his game this year. Standing at 6'9", with a 7-foot wingspan, Layman's long frame allowed him to play a majority of last year's season from the 4 spot, fitting the ever-so-trendy role of the prototypical stretch 4 perfectly.  With the reinstatement of Georgia Tech transfer Robert Carter, Layman will move to the wing and play mostly from the 3-position.

Carter has nearly 30 pounds on Layman, giving him the ability to bruise and bang with the game's big man to impose his will. With Diamond Stone as his counterpart in the paint, these two will effectively hold down (dominate) the interior for Maryland on both sides of the ball.  This moves Layman to the perimeter, where he will likely spend most of the this during his final season in College Park. His numbers from last year show that he has a high chance of success in such a role:

Jake Layman 2014-2015 (via Sports-Reference)













Layman is a proven threat from deep, 3rd on last year's team in both makes and attempts. This consistency from behind the arc will open up lanes for Trimble to create off of the dribble, as Layman can spot up from the corner and the wing.  He can make defenses pay from deep by simply spotting up while Melo conducts a pick and roll. The defense will have to essentially choose between leaving Layman open to help with a Melo drive or Carter/Stone roll (a bucket), or staying tight on Layman and allowing Melo free reign to the hoop (another bucket).

Look for Layman to be a consistent 3-and-D player for Maryland next year, but don't limit him to just that.  He gives the Terps another guy who can cause havoc on the glass. He has the versatility to move down to the stretch 4-position and allow Maryland to spread the floor even more with good 3 point shooting. He can also create his own looks in the post.  He may be asked to focus on different aspects of his game, but he is a well-rounded player who does a little bit of everything. He's also shown continued year-to-year growth during his Maryland career, which will hopefully continue into his final campaign with Maryland.

The expectations for next year's team are colossal. Turgeon and the rest of his staff will face the task of handling these expectations.  They will have to take all of the talented individuals and push them into a talented team, where the sum is more than the parts. With so many offensive weapons, each player will have to find the perfect niche that suits their own skill-set and benefits the team. In what looks to be a strong year for the Big Ten, Maryland has to solidify their position and assert their dominance. It is no longer about progress and moral victories, it's about winning. And it's about winning now. While I'm not high on those who throw bold predictions around and speculate months in advance, I can make this prediction with the utmost confidence: this season is gonna be fun.