King Philip Regional (Wrentham, Mass.)
head coach Sean McInnis loves to talk about his rising senior star Jake Layman
And he especially loves Layman's decision to make a verbal commitment to the University of Maryland and new head coach Mark Turgeon on Tuesday.
"It's a great decision," McInnis said. "Maryland has so much to offer and has a tremendous coaching staff. There is so much enthusiasm there and Jake wanted to be part of that."
Layman, a 6-foot-8 wing, is rated No. 56 in the MaxPreps Class of 2012 Top 100. He had a breakout junior season at King Philip, piling up 24.6 points and 13.6 rebounds per game while leading the Warriors to a 17-9 record. His rise continued over the summer as a key contributor for the Boston Amateur Athletic Club's EYBL championship team.
McInnis isn't convinced that Layman's ability is fully appreciated, however.
"I actually still do think he is a secret," McInnis said. "People don't realize how good he is. He plays point guard and off guard for us. He plays the three for his BABC team. He excels with the ball in his hand."
Layman is a bit of a rarity for a star player in his area, electing to remain at King Philip – a regional public school – over transferring to one of the Northeast's prep school college pipelines.
"Jake has had those opportunities all along," McInnis said. "He could step into any prep school program in the Northeast and they would be thrilled to have him. But he is a very loyal young man and very dedicated. When we started together we promised each other to turn this program around and stay together."
With a 57-game losing streak in the not-too-distant past and a 15-year postseason drought, King Philip wasn't exactly a hoops hotbed prior to Layman's arrival.
"We sold out all but one of our games last year," McInnis said. "In three years, that's a big turnaround.
"He goes into elementary schools and reads to kids, sets up math programs and bullying programs – that's what he means (to our program). He is the full player. That's one of the great things about Maryland for him. He's not just going to be invested in basketball, but the entire Maryland community."
Thanks to Turgeon, who recruited Layman at Texas A&M and continued pursuit after taking the Terrapin post, the Maryland community is rapidly expanding.
Layman will join a 2012 recruiting class that already features four-star center Shaquille Cleare
of The Village School (Houston, Texas)
and guard Seth Allen
of Fredericksburg Christian (Fredericksburg, Va.)