The Maryland Terrapins are entering the 2015-2016 season with a national championship on their minds and who could blame them? When looking at a starting lineup of Melo Trimble, Rasheed Sulaimon, Jake Layman, Robert Carter and Diamond Stone, it just looks lethal.
Right now, with the expectation of improvement with all five players, every single one of them could be drafted in the 2016 NBA Draft. But where would be selected? Right now there are a lot more questions than answers.
Most mock drafts I have seen have Trimble going in the late first round or early second round. I just don't see that. The only knock that people talk about Trimble is mostly his size. He may be small, but he plays big. Last season, Trimble ranked 11th in the entire country in free throws attempted with 230 and converted 86 percent of them.
I can honestly say that Trimble is just about everything you would want in a point guard. He has a strong handle, he sets up his teammates frequently, he can create his own shot and he is a severely dangerous three point shooter.
Layman is an interesting player at small forward. He has the athleticism, he can slash to the paint and he can attack from the mid range to the perimeter. When Layman was assertive last season for the Terps, the entire team was better for it every time.
Layman offers another dimension to the team if the Terps want to go small over the course of a game. To start the game, he would be a small forward and later on become a stretch power forward depending on the matchup. He is an interesting prospect. Entering his senior year, Layman is certainly going to want to showcase himself this year in front of NBA scouts and if he intends to do so he must be more consistent.
There were times last season where Layman either couldn't get going or wasn't assertive enough on offense as he would score 20 points one night and a few games later just score four points. Now he has his chance as there will be plethora of offensive weapons around him which will free him up for great opportunities.
Carter is a power forward who is sliding under the radar at a rapid pace from the NBA mock drafts I have seen. Some mock drafts didn't even mention him at all. Most of that has to do with the fact that he transferred from the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets last year and in the process, he had to sit out the entire 2014-2015 season.
Carter's game is well refined. He has multiple moves from a jump hook, mid range jumper and a perimeter jumper. Out of all of the talented players in the Terps starting lineup, Carter could be the one who could benefit the most from it. He will give opposing defenses all that they can handle and more.
Stone is the one player in the NBA mock drafts I have seen who has been projected as mid first round pick to a lottery pick. He's excellent on offensive and defensive rebounds as well as good a shot blocker.
Stone is almost what you would call an "old school center" with the exception that he can actually make perimeter shots on a consistent basis. If Stone is able to put everything together in his freshman year, there is no doubt in my mind that would be the best player in the 2016 NBA Draft if he decides to declare. You can't find many big men who can bring the total package from inside the paint and out on both ends of the floor.
There are several Maryland players that appear in serious contention to be drafted next season and as such, the Terps have to potential to have the best NBA draft class in school history. It's an exciting time to be a Maryland fan and fans should look forward to the next Draft night.