And Turgeon doesn't want the newcomers to overshadow key returning players such as swingman Nick Faust (City), point guard Pe'Shon Howard and center Alex Len. Turgeon said Howard is ahead of schedule in his effort to return from surgery after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in February.

"I think Alex will be twice the player next year that he was this year," Turgeon said. "I think Nick Faust will be the same."

Len, a 7-footer in his first season last year after arriving from Ukraine, showed great promise but was inconsistent. He had to become accustomed to taking a pounding around the basket. He was also adjusting to a new language and his academic workload.

"He has improved his work habits, gotten a little bit tougher and has really worked hard in the weight room," Turgeon said.

Faust, a freshman last season, had a string of double-digit scoring games near the end of the year, including 19 points against Wake Forest in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

"Nick has probably improved the most since the season ended," Turgeon said.

Also coming to Maryland in the fall is former Michigan forward Evan Smotrycz. But he won't be eligible to play in games until the following season because of transfer rules. Queen Anne's senior Damonte Dodd, a power forward, said months ago that he had committed orally to Maryland, but he has not signed a letter of intent.

Turgeon will be entering his second Maryland season following Gary Williams' retirement. Because of the timing of his hiring, this is the first recruiting class that is the coach's own. Like his players, he is still growing into the program.

"I know last year they [the Terps] didn't have their best year ever," said Layman, a solid outside shooter.

But coming to a program in transition, Layman said he feels as hopeful as he did when he entered high school and found himself playing for a second-year coach.

"Kind of a new start," Layman said.

Baltimore Sun reporter Matthew Bracken contributed to this article.

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