Even before classes ended at Maryland, Jake Layman began the transition from college student to professional basketball player.
Layman had pretty much finished his course work by mid-April, when he signed with an agent and moved from College Park to Chicago to prepare for the NBA Draft.
"It definitely gives you a lot more time to work on your craft and really pinpoint certain things; it definitely makes it more fun for sure," said Layman, who took part in graduation in May.
The solid career Layman had with the Terps – as well as what he showed both at the NBA Draft Combine last month and in subsequent sessions with individual teams – has led to the 6-foot-9, 215-pound forward likely being picked in the second round Thursday.
"It's a little different at each place," Layman said about the various workouts. "Some you'll do more fullcourt stuff, some teams will do more halfcourt three-on-three. It just depends on what team you're going to."
Layman has tried to prove that he is more of a "complete player" than he showed during much of his career at Maryland. His defense improved noticeably last season, and he was more aggressive offensively down the stretch.
"One thing I've tried to show is how good defensively I am and that I'm attacking the basket now, I'm looking for my shot more," Layman said.
One of Layman's strengths – his athleticism – was on full display at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.
Along with putting up more than respectable numbers in vertical reach – 33 inches from a standing jump and 39.5 inches with a few steps – as well as other measurable skills, Layman's shotblocking was on display. Unfortunately it came at the expense of one of his former teammates.
In one of the two scrimmages he played, Layman came from the weak side to swat Melo Trimble's layup attempt out of bounds. The play seemed to shake up Trimble, who after hitting a couple of early shots didn't make one the rest of the game.
"I think these guys [the NBA personnel] know I'm a good athlete, I definitely haven't been wowing people when I've done these things, I've done them for four years now," Layman said.
Layman said the work he has put in over the past two months on his ballhandling and shooting off screens as well as off the dribble, which were among his weaknesses at Maryland, has helped improve his stock among NBA front office personnel.
At the combine, Layman was one of the top performers in the shooting drills.
"I'm able to show them what I've been working on and prove to them I am an NBA player," said Layman, who finished his Maryland career 18th in both scoring (1,436) and rebounding (674) and is only one of 11 Terps to exceed 1,400 points and 600 rebounds.
Layman has been part of a group of college players signed with Mark Bartelstein at Chicago-based Priority Sports and Entertainment.
The others working out with Layman include a pair of projected first-round picks in Vanderbilt guard Wade Baldwin and Notre Dame guard Demetrius Jackson, as well as Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer, who is also expected to go in the second round as well as Duke center Marshall Plumlee and Northwestern guard Tre Demps.
Several mock drafts have, at one time or another, associated Layman as a potential target of the Boston Celtics, the team he rooted for growing up in the city's suburbs. With five second-round picks ranging from 31 to 58, the Celtics certainly seem like a viable option.
"Beyond the workout, there's not much that they tell you after," said Layman, whose first workout in mid-May was with the Celtics. "You can't really get a good feel if a team is going to pick you or not."