While the Maryland football team made waves with its gaudy uniforms and a thrilling victory over Miami, Monday also was very good for the Terrapins’ men’s basketball team.
How good? With the addition of Massachusetts forward Jake Layman to the recruiting class, at least one recruiting analyst believes Coach Mark Turgeon and his staff are on the verge of one of the nation’s finest hauls of talent.
Houston center Shaquille Cleare committed to Maryland last month and the Terps also have a pledge from Fredericksburg Christian guard Seth Allen.
“Right now, Maryland is staring down a top-10 class,” said ESPN’s Dave Telep. “With the potential to put a big old cherry on top if they can get one of those home-run hitters. You’ve got to give them an ‘A.’ They were on Layman before he blew up. So far, mission accomplished.”
A 6-foot-8, 205-pound senior at King Phillip Regional High School in Wrentham, Mass., Layman had been recruited by Turgeon before the coach left Texas A&M for Maryland this past spring. Turgeon and company stayed on Layman at Maryland and then won a spirited recruiting battle as Layman played well over the summer and attracted interest from many other top teams.
Layman took an official visit to College Park over the weekend, then decided to cancel planned trips to Florida, Syracuse and Louisville, according to his high school coach, Sean McGinnis.
“When he stepped back from it, Maryland offered great academics, a great community and the coaching staff was tremendous,” McGinnis said. “It was a great opportunity for Jake. He found everything he was looking for in that first visit.”
McGinnis said that Layman played point guard and shooting guard for King Phillip Regional, has a seven-foot wingspan and can also guard power forwards.
“This is a very talented player,” McGinnis said. “He has [shooting] range to 20 feet. And he’s somebody that is definitely a team player.”
Will Layman’s commitment affect Maryland’s pursuit of DeMatha forward Jerami Grant? Possibly. But the Terps have plenty of scholarships and playing time available. Also on the Terps’ wish list is Brewster (N.H.) Academy post player Mitch McGary.
“They’ve got room to take as many good players as they can,” Telep said. “Mitch McGary would be the game-changer.
“How many recruiting classes are there where it takes a couple guys with guts to jump first? That legitimizes some of your efforts. They’ve got the makings for a nice little roster and there’s room for a big guy.”
While Layman called Maryland’s coaches on Monday afternoon while driving back to Massachusetts to say he would accept a scholarship offer, news of the commitment did not break until after the football team’s victory over Miami. Why?
“Yesterday was all about football and the coaches across the board that we spoke to knew it and wanted to keep it that way,” McGinnis said. “That shows a lot of class on the part of the men’s basketball staff.”