NBA Draft: When will Maryland have another draftee?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Two names highlight Maryland's inaugural season in the Big Ten, and both have the potential to be NBA players. Can they take it to the next level?

A year removed from superstar freshmen Alex Len’s short hiatus at the five spot, the Maryland Terrapins saw no players move onto the NBA via the draft in 2014. Jordan Williams was brought on by the New Jersey Nets in 2011, just a year after Greivis Vasquez was selected by the New Orleans Hornets.

The Terps’ look to see themselves represented in the 2015 draft, and there’s two players that could help their stock tremendously this year by performing well in their first season in the Big Ten against the Likes of the Wisconsin Badgers, the Michigan State Spartans and the Michigan Wolverines, all very high levels of competition.

Here’s a breakdown of the two most likely draftee’s for Maryland in 2015:

Jake Layman

Position: Small Forward

Measurables: 6’8’, 205 lbs

Comparisons: Gordon Heyward, Chandler Parsons

All aboard the hype train! In all fairness, us Big Ten die-hards are a year behind the hype train, as it’s been chugging along for a while in College Park. Layman’s hype was at it’s in the latter half of his freshman campaign. Layman produced well coming off of the bench against ACC foe Virginia Tech, dropping twenty points, against then #2 Duke in what was a key resume game for Maryland in which he accounted for ten points and also in the NIT against Alabama where he scored 13.

Layman’s shooting was inconsistent to say the least in his sophomore year.  His shooting clip ranged from 75% against lesser foes such as Morgan State, to a measly 7% against Clemson on 1 for 14 shooting – a double overtime game in which Maryland lost.

The reason Layman is on this list, is the fact that he has all the tools to be an NBA draft pick, and giving his shooting capability, is definitely a player that can provide a boost to a team as a role player. It’s no secret that potential is the number one factor in NBA executives and their drafting strategies, and Layman has a plethora of that at his disposal.

With that being said, I don’t think Layman should head to the draft this year. NBAdraft.net is one publication that has Layman listed on their mocks for 2015, but the draft is still a year away, and a lot could change in College Park. Even if Layman performs well, I think it’s in his best interest to stay in a Terps’ uniform and work on his overall game before coming out and testing the waters in the NBA. Layman would get drafted next year, strictly on potential, but he if he puts in all together, he could be as high as a lottery pick in 2016.

Dez Wells

Position: Shooting Guard

Measureables: 6’5", 215 lbs

After spending his freshman season at Xavier buried on a roster with a wealth of guards, Wells was forced to transfer after some legal issues got in the way of his career as a Musketeer. Wells faired well in his sophomore year at Maryland, though, even though he had more of a load. Wells’ junior year saw a very impressive 48% shooting clip and the highest free throw percentage of his career. Averaging 14.9 ppg was his highest in his career, and this came with more experience initiating offense for the Terps’.

Like Layman, Wells has all the tools that would be needed in the NBA, and he could have a shot strictly based on that. Unlike Layman, Wells has improved each time he’s been evaluated and been given more of a role.  At 6’5" Wells’ will probably be at a height disadvantage to most of his matchups in the NBA, but his strength make up for that. Wells has enough lateral quickness to keep up with NBA level guards, and has the strength to finish around the basket and through contact. He has shown the ability to find his teammates on the perimeter at times, but only averaging 2 assists per game last year shows he can improve on distributing, and should improve this year with the emergence of some role players on the court for Maryland.

Unlike Layman, Wells will be a senior and can’t return to Maryland to improve his game after this year. Wells should get drafted next year, and can definitely improve his stock by showing strong on the defensive  end and show his willingness to hit open shooters. I believe he will turn into a pretty solid rotational player in the NBA. I’m not sure he’ll be elite, but he will definitely get Maryland’s name back on the draft board.

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