Seth Allen, Shaquille Cleare, Jake Layman sign letters-of-intent with Maryland

As expected, the Maryland men’s basketball team signed three players to letters-of-intent on Wednesday: Seth Allen, a 6-foot-2 guard from Fredericksburg; Shaquille Cleare, a 6-9 center from Houston; and Jake Layman, a 6-8 forward from Wrentham, Mass.

“We’re very pleased with our class for 2012 so far,” first-year Coach Mark Turgeon said in a statement. “We’ve added three quality players with great character who will fit in with our Maryland Basketball family.

“All three are very skilled basketball players who have a great feel for the game. My entire staff and the administration did a fantastic job in helping us secure these kids.”

According to ESPN.com, Maryland’s class ranks 17th in the nation, and Turgeon still has room to sign some more players to this year’s recruiting class.

As a junior, Allen led Fredericksburg Christian to a 31-2 record, averaging 24 points, 4 assists and 3.5 steals. He also made 92 three-pointers. Allen chose Maryland over Clemson, Old Dominion, VCU, Virginia Tech and Virginia.

Cleare is ranked the sixth-best center recruit and 39th-best overall recruit in the nation by ESPN.com. He chose the Terrapins over Arizona, Texas, Baylor and Miami.

ESPN.com ranks Layman as the nation’s 11th-best power forward recruit and 53rd overall. He averaged 24.6 points, 15.6 rebounds and 7.1 blocks as a junior at King Philip Regional High. Layman chose Maryland over over Syracuse, Louisville, Florida, Notre Dame and Providence

“This class is well-balanced between guys who can help immediately and guys who can be brought along and will make their mark in the ACC,” ESPN.com recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi said. “Mark does a good job of evaluating players and a good job of developing them. He’s put together an all-star recruiting staff there. When they’re not out recruiting, they’re thinking about recruiting.”

After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and the Post's other Web-based products.

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