“It took time, and then I realized that you can’t scream and yell at Jake a lot,” said Turgeon. “You need to be a positive influence on him. And we’ve hit that approach. I’m sure he still thinks [they yell at him], which I’m sure I do at times. Just try to handle him a little bit better, giving him confidence.
“The thing about Jake is Jake brings it every day. It’s not like Jake wasn’t trying hard or took a day off or had a bad attitude. He’s a very humble kid and just continued to work hard. Those guys are fun to work with, and you know, his upside is huge.
“He’s really come a long ways and he helped us [by playing] a tremendous amount of minutes the other night against Duke and will play a lot of minutes as we move forward. I think he gets just a little bit better every day that we are able to coach him.”
When Layman left for Maryland, McInnis left, too, off to find another fixer-upper. He didn’t go far. He took the job as King Philip’s girls’ coach.
But the boys’ team is still churning. In fact, there’s another Layman on the roster, Jimmy, and the buzz is that he’s as good, if not better, than his older brother.
Jimmy’s been to a couple of Jake’s games in College Park. He’ll be at Conte Forum Tuesday night. And when Jake thinks back four years ago and remembers that struggling program, he realizes that was the point.
“The program wasn’t even a program before we got there, it was just a basketball team,” Layman said. “Now it’s a program people want to be a part of. That’s what’s great to see.”
Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.