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Terps will get another look at Jake Layman as a power forward Saturday

Maryland wing Jake Layman passes San Francisco State forward Derrick Brown and looks for an open man at Xfinity Center.
Maryland wing Jake Layman passes San Francisco State forward Derrick Brown and looks for an open man at Xfinity Center. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)
One of few question marks coming out of Maryland’s preseason victory last Saturday over San Francisco State was junior Jake Layman’s adjustment to playing power forward.
On an afternoon when four of the team’s newcomers scored in double figures, Layman finished with nine points on 3 of 5 shooting His two misses were 3-pointers. Layman had five rebounds and two blocks.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said Friday that Layman’s six turnovers, the most he had ever committed in a game for the Terps, were due in part to the new position.
“My concern would be just not to confuse Jake too much, there’s a lot on his plate,” said Turgeon, whose team will play its second and final preseason game Saturday against Division II Bowie State at noon.
“Maybe that’s why he turned the ball over a little bit on Saturday. He’s just got a lot going on in there. Hopefully he’ll a little more comfortable this week.”   
Layman will be used primarily at power forward until Evan Smotrycz returns from a broken foot that he suffered on Oct. 21. The injury is expected to keep him out four to six weeks. Off crutches, Smotrycz will have an X-ray of the foot Wednesday.
Having Layman playing power forward, with junior Dez Wells going back and forth between shooting guard and small forward, also allows Turgeon to use freshmen wings Dion Wiley and Jared Nickens more.
It will be interesting to see what Turgeon decides to do when Smotrycz, who is more of a long and mid-range shooter than inside scorer, returns. Much will depend on what Maryland can get from its big men.
“Get the ball inside, we didn’t really emphasize it a lot against the zone [played by San Francisco State]. We’ve done a little bit more of that this week,” Turgeon said.
“We posted the ball a lot more. Those guys got to get offensive rebounds and put-backs too. I think with Jon Graham and Damonte [Dodd] and Checko [Michal Cekovsky] we’ll throw the ball inside a lot more [against Bowie State] What they do with it, we’ll see.”
Turgeon said that despite limited numbers against San Francisco State (no points, two rebounds, no blocks), the 7-foot-1 Cekovsky is “maybe a little further” ahead of where he expected the freshman from Slovakia to be.
“He’s had a really good week of practice. That game really wasn’t a great conducive game for him,” Turgeon said. “The game’s moving a little fast for him right now, but I do think it’s slowed down this week. ... I like that he’s practicing better, so that’s a good sign that it will carry over to the games.”

COLLEGE PARK — don.markus@baltsun.com

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