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Maryland's Jake Layman is embracing a different role in 2015

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The senior isn't scoring as much, but that's okay.

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Layman hasn't exactly been a fan-favorite as a senior. Eleven games into the season, his points, shots, and field goals per game are the lowest they've been since his freshman year.

But just using those stats is too simplistic of a way to evaluate his performance.

Layman's had to adjust to a different role in 2015. Last year, the forward was counted upon to be the team's second option when Dez Wells went out for four weeks with a broken wrist. When Wells came back, Layman was still needed as the team's third scorer.

After Melo Trimble, Wells and Layman, there was a steep drop in Maryland's scoring last season. Jared Nickens was fourth on the team in points per game with 6.5.

That same number would rank seventh on 2015's squad.

Now, Layman is packed on a team full of scorers. Trimble, Robert Carter Jr., Rasheed Sulaimon and Diamond Stone have all led the team in scoring at times this season.

"I think that's what's special about this team. I think that on any given night, one guy can come up big for us," Layman said. "Tonight was, I guess, my night. Someone could score 4 or 5 points, and someone else could score 20."

That's certainly not a relevation, as it's been a sentiment echoed by players and media all through this young season, but it's true. Maryland has so many guys who can score that he just doesn't need to be "the man." Against Princeton, he was.

Layman was 4-for-8 from 3-point range, accounting for 12 of his season-high19 points. In the first half, he was exactly what the Terps needed.

He started the game off with a bang, hitting a three on the Terps' first possession, just like he did in his 16-point effort against St. Francis (Pa.).

Twelve of his points came in the first half, where he carried the Terps through a slow start. The Tigers left him open in the first half, and he made them pay.

"Tonight, once we got the ball outside, I was able to get open looks," Layman said.

On a night where five Maryland players scored in double figures, Layman was the one who most helped the team achieve a victory. His shots came when the team needed them most after Maryland had a rough start. With five minutes left in the first half, Maryland trailed Princeton by three points, which was an unexpected development.

When the Tigers came out in a 3-2 zone to start the game, it startled Maryland players.

"We weren't really ready for it, so it kind of caught us off guard a little bit," Diamond Stone said. "So coach Turgeon called a timeout and ran a play."

He led an offense that scored 36 of its 82 points from beyond the arc. Layman only scored 7 points in the second half, but the Terps were able to pull away to an easy victory at that point

"Our whole offensive strategy was to play in the paint, and then they showed a 3-2 zone and I thought we shot too many jumpers at the start," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said after the game.

While that may have been true for the rest of the team, Layman kept shooting, and it worked.