Physically, Jake Layman doesn't fit the profile of a power forward in the mold of Karl Malone. But Layman's ability to play a stretch-4 position has been one of the key element's to Maryland's success this season.
The junior is being recognized as such, as he's among 16 nominees for the inaugural Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award, presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The 6-foot-9 Layman has averaged 13.5 points per game and ranks sixth in the Big Ten in rebounding (6.6 per game). Both are bumps from last season, when he averaged 11.7 points and 5.0 rebounds.
The nominees for the Karl Malone Award will be trimmed to five in early March. Malone -- a Louisiana Tech star before he spent 19 years in the NBA -- will then have a voice in deciding the winner, along with the Hall of Fame's selection committee.
The winner will be honored at ESPN's new college basketball awards show in Los Angeles on April 10.