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2014-15 Maryland Preview: The Wings

Maryland sports a couple of hot-shooting wings that could cause major matchup problems for their new Big Ten opponents.

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

The wing position is kind of hard to define in college basketball. Most teams have guards and forwards that are clearly differentiated from each other. Maryland, on the other hand, has a pair of starters who can play either position. That makes them a versatile squad that can either grow in size or shrink in order to meet matchup challenges. If head coach Mark Turgeon can utilize his two main wings creatively, the Terps will give opponents headaches this season.

The Starters

As a sophomore in 2013-14, Jake Layman was third on the Terps in scoring and this season he's someone who can make the jump to become one of the top shooters in the Big Ten. Averaging 11.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game last year, Layman hit on 36.5 percent of his three-pointers, and he should only have more opportunities in 2014-15. Dez Wells will continue to draw defenders into the paint, and freshman point guard Melo Trimble should be able to penetrate into the lane as well. The two guards can combine to create open shots for Layman and his thriving jump shot.

Evan Smotrycz is someone who Big Ten fans will recognize from his time at Michigan, and the 6'9" senior hasn't changed too much since then. He still takes about half his shots from beyond the arc while maintaining the ability to shoot like a guard and rebound like a forward. When teamed with Layman, Smotrycz will help form a versatile frontcourt that can stretch the floor and make bigger opposing lineups uncomfortable.

The Bench

Like the two more experienced wings on the Maryland roster, freshman Jared Nickens likes to shoot from the perimeter. At least that's what the scouting report says, as I haven't had the pleasure of watching him play yet. In future years, Nickens should prove to be a fine player for Turgeon and the Terps, but right now it seems he could use a year to bulk up and balance out his game a little bit.