Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon had some high praise for National Letter of Intent signee Jake Layman of King Philip Regional, when the 6-foot-8 Wrentham native was introduced as one of three early signees for Turgeon's 2012 recruiting class yesterday.
Layman, a member of ESPN Boston's inaugural All-State Team last season and the nation's No. 53 overall senior, faxed over his National Letter of Intent to the College Park, Md. campus yesterday at 7 a.m. He participated in a ceremonious mock signing along with eight other KP student-athletes yesterday afternoon in the school's library.
From the University of Maryland's official athletics webpage:
Turgeon on Layman: "Jake is a very skilled and explosive athlete who is improving at a big-time rate. Jake has all three phases in his game with the ability to knock down the 3, shoot the mid-range, plus get all the way to the basket. He is also a tremendous defender with great anticipation. Jake comes from a great family, and we are excited about welcoming into our basketball family."
Jake Layman: "It's a dream come true for me to sign with Maryland and I couldn't be happier. The school, Coach Turgeon and all the other coaches, I love them and I get along with the players really well so that was good. The coaching staff is down to earth and easy to talk to so that made me feel comfortable. I know they're all tough coaches so I think that will help me grow a lot. I'm very excited about the opportunity to play in the best conference in America and play at the Comcast Center."
Claire Layman, mother: "For my husband and I and our whole family, when we came for the official visit, with Coach Turgeon, Coach Spinelli and the entire coaching staff, we just had such a feeling that this was the right place for Jake. We felt all along that the ACC was a good fit for Jake's skill set and I think with the University, over the recruiting period, what became clear to us is how important it was for Jake to be able to play where his family could be part of it too... The basketball was really important to Jake but just the University itself I think has everything Jake wants academically and it just was a really good fit. Maryland has so much to offer and it was really just a perfect fit."
Dave Telep, ESPN.com: "When Jake hit his stride this summer, you were either there to see it or you weren't. For those who saw it, he immediately became a priority recruit. What not many people will know is he's a heck of a defensive player. In one tournament where they kept stats, he certainly led everyone in steals per minute."
Paul Biancardi, ESPN.com: "Jake has a lot of tools and is just scratching the surface of his potential. He can shoot and score in a lot of ways. He's also got athleticism and size to go along with his scoring ability. He's a guy who is going to get better each and every day."
Leo Papile, Boston Amateur Basketball Club: "He's a young, developing guy with enormous potential and upside. The best is yet to come... At 6-9, with the ability to guard guys down on the floor, he's totally unique for American basketball. He's a wing... You put him on the ball and, in our (full-court) defense, he just wreaks havoc with his mobility. He was bound to just make an enormous impact on the national scene."
Coach Sean McInnis, King Philip Regional HS: "It's a fantastic time for Jake and his family. They're really looking forward to being a part of the Maryland family... I think when you look around the country, he's probably the only kid who's 6-8 that plays the point... I think what Maryland was looking for was a student-athlete that's going to come in, defend, and play a couple positions while at the same time playing in transition, utilizing some size at the guard position."