Freshman Focus is an A10 Talk series that takes a look at some of the incoming freshman for the 2016-17 season. We take a closer look at some of the more talented first year players who will take the court for the first time next season.
Mike Layssard Jr. is a 6-9, 280 lb. forward out of Lena, Louisiana who will be joining the Rams this coming season. Layssard Jr. played basketball at Northwood High School and on his AAU team: Urban DFW Elite-BJ Adidas. He is a consensus 3 star recruit across the board, and Composite ranks him as the 33rd best for his position while ESPN ranks him 36th. Layssard Jr. averaged 24.6 points and 2.6 blocks per game his senior season at Northwood High School.
Layssard Jr. should fit well in what is already a dangerous frontcourt. With his size and ability to be a rim-protector, Mike Layssard Jr. could form into the kind of player Hassan Martin is for the Rams today. While Martin will be the starting PF this year, expect the incoming freshman to get some serious minutes at the 4 and even possibly the 5. Layssard Jr. is a true post player who can move around the paint and score with ease.
Though Layssard Jr. is listed as a 4, he could become an immediate starter if he plays the 5 for the Rams. We could see him sharing minutes with incoming freshman Michael Tertsea or primarily playing the backup role to Hassan Martin. Either way, he’s going to get some good experience his freshman season with the Rams, and the way things are shaping out in Kingston, he might even have a chance to win an A-10 title. His shot-blocking will be key a Rhode Island team that ranked 22nd in the nation in defensive block percentage last season.