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Why Turgeon thinks Layman could be playing himself into NBA's 1st round

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Why Turgeon thinks Layman could be playing himself into NBA's 1st round

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland will celebrate its seniors before Thursday's game against Illinois, including one player who head coach Mark Turgeon proudly points out was loyal to the program during the most trying time of his tenure, Jake Layman.

When five players transferred, Layman told Turgeon that he wanted to stay.

Now, three years later, he is one of the key cogs for a team with hopes to make a run late into March while averaging 10.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor, 37 percent from three, and 82 percent from the line.

"I think he's playing his way maybe into the first round of the NBA Draft," Turgeon said on Wednesday.

"He's really playing well right now, become a complete player, defends really well, he's playing at a great pace, he's scoring on all levels right now, and he's the reason we've won 23 games already -- because this great senior class, but because of Jake."

MORE TERPS: 'READY TO BE A CENTERPIECE'

The improvement defensively is the biggest key.

If someone had told you when he was a freshman that by his senior year he would be the perimeter cornerstone of a team that rankings in the nation's Top 20 in adjusted defensive efficiency, per KenPom, there would have been skeptics. 

Now, he is the most versatile attacker at the top of Maryland's 1-3-1 press and has had a hand in shutting down some of the Big Ten's best scorers including Iowa's Jarrod Uthoff and Nebraska's Shavon Shields.

"He was a specialist when he came here. Now he's a basketball player," Turgeon said. "So that's a good feeling for me but it's all because of how hard he worked."

Layman is currently projected to be selected No. 41 overall in the 2016 NBA Draft by DraftExpress.com. At 6-9, 220 pounds, he has great height for the small forward position at the NBA level, though he played some stretches as a power forward last season. 

As the NBA moves toward more small-ball lineups, scouts will likely be impressed by his combination of size and athleticism and his improvement defensively certainly helps his stock -- meaning he can affect games even when he's not scoring.

The best part, as Turgeon pointed out? He is on track to earn his degree in May, which was not always a certainty during his academic career.

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Not the homecoming former Terp D.J. Moore was hoping for against the Redskins

Not the homecoming former Terp D.J. Moore was hoping for against the Redskins

Former Maryland Terrapin D.J. Moore made his first trip to FedEx field as an NFL star. His Carolina Panthers traveled up to Landover, Md. for a Week 6 matchup with the Washington Redskins.

However, it was not the homecoming he and the Panthers were hoping for. 

The first-round draft pick had two fumbles in the first half against the Redskins. Both were punch-outs due to Moore not holding the ball tight enough.

The wide receiver's first came as he fielded the Redskins' first punt of the afternoon.

The second being a fumble coming off of his first reception, punched out by Josh Norman, who had his best game as a Redskin.

Both plays had enough effort, probably too much. Moore was clearly trying to make something out of nothing and both times it cost him and the Panthers two key possessions on the road. 

First two touches, two fumbles. Not a good look. 

But in other Maryland Terps news, Vernon Davis did haul down the first touchdown of the game and Torrey Smith scored a late touchdown and converted the two-point conversion. 

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As one of the most penalized teams in college football, Maryland's penalty woes showed vs. Michigan

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As one of the most penalized teams in college football, Maryland's penalty woes showed vs. Michigan

On the field, it has been a season of ups and downs for the Maryland Terrapins. On Saturday, it became evident that the team's penalty issues are at epic proportions based on their loss to Michigan.

This season, Maryland is one of the most penalized teams in all of Division I football. 

No matter if the penalties are coming in wins or in losses, yellow flags have forced Maryland to dig themselves out of holes this season. Quickly these holes become insurmountable with the inconsistent offense the Terps have this season. 

Below is where they stand on the NCAA FBS Division I leaderboard:

  • Penalties per game (4th worst) - 9.8 penalties
  • Penalty yards per game (3rd worst) - 93.8 yards
  • 7 penalties per 100 plays (t-worst) 


This past Saturday against Michigan, their penalties were a significant factor in a loss for the first time this season. Twelve times the Terps were flagged, costing them 107 yards. 

The first major penalty was just after the Terps got a big kickoff return for a touchdown by Ty Johnson to give them an early 7-3 lead. Two scrimmage plays later, Darnell Savage got his second interception of the season on Michigan's side of the field with the upset in full swing. A holding penalty on the return pushed the Terps back to midfield where they would go three-and-out. 

That mistake, although minuscule at the time, cannot happen on the road against a top-25 opponent. A momentum-swinging play was diminished by the penalty and kept them from adding to their lead.  

The offense though was responsible for most of the dirty laundry on the field. Of their 12 penalties, half of them were on the offense. Five of those six were detrimental to their success. 

A holding penalty in the second quarter prevented the Terps from having the chance to answer Michigan's first touchdown of the game.

On the first drive of the second half for the Terps, three penalties in the first four plays pushed them back to a 4th-and-36. 

Although they converted a fourth-and-6 in the red zone, they got pushed back to that mark because of a false start the play prior. This was their first drive of the fourth where they were behind by three scores and desperately trying to come back.

In their Week 1 shocking upset over the ranked Texas Longhorns the team had eight penalties for 70 yards. This was the only game that their opponent committed more penalties.

The next week at Bowling Green (14 for 139 yards) was worse, at home vs. Temple (five penalties, 35 yards) and at Minnesota (10 penalties, 118 yards).

Currently, the team is sitting at 3-2 with a win over the No. 9 team in the country, Texas. Considering everything that has happened, and they are under interim head coach Matt Canada, they are rising above expectations. 

But by no means are there many confident in how the Terps have played this season. Mostly that is due to these penalties. 

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