Insane shooting numbers from senior forward Jake Layman catalyzed Maryland's win against Nebraska on Friday.
The NBA Draft hopeful had 17 points in 18 minutes off just seven shots in the first half to shred the Cornhusker's hopes of doubling in the post to force a shaky Terrapins team to beat it from the outside. He finished with 26 points on 13 shots and hit 6-of-9 from deep to complete his first offensive standout performance of the season. He was just a point shy of tying a career high.
What worked for Layman was Maryland's ability to finally take advantage of working the ball to the post and then kicking to shooters. This type of inside-out basketball is what got the Terrapins offense going for the first time in a long time.
"it's pretty much unstoppable because we have so many shooters that can actually shoot the ball at a high clip," said Diamond Stone, the freshman center who scored 23 points of his own.
Nebraska focused early on containing Stone and Robert Carter Jr., but to no avail.
Layman was able to feed the bigs in the post, and Carter and Stone were able to find him consistently for kick-out passes. It's the sort of play Maryland's been looking for all year considering the talent it has at all five positions.
The same type of play worked over and over again, and Maryland didn't have to do anything complicated.
The brilliance of the simplicity in what worked for Layman is that there was little Nebraska could do about it. Abandoning two of the best offensive bigs in Carter and Stone isn't an option, according to the center himself.
"At the beginning of the game, they started doubling the post, and we got Jake involved, but then they stopped doubling the post," said Stone. "So that's when me and Rob operate and we take advantage of our size and our strength, and we made plays."
As Nebraska was left with no good options, Layman continued to thrive.
"We knew from watching and scouting that they've been trapping the post and the last time we played them they trapped the post," said Carter. "So we just had to make the right play, and they rotate so Jake was most of the time the second guy, so we could quick swing it to Jake. He was open. He made shots early. He made shots late."
"They doubled, and then we just made the right play," said Carter. "I've been telling everyone since the season started. We've got so many talented guys our biggest thing is just making the right play."
If Maryland can get half the production they got out of Layman on Friday, they have a shot at taking down the conference favorite Michigan State Spartans. Tipoff is around 3:30 p.m. ET.