The Maryland Terrapins were bounced from the Big Ten Tournament on Saturday as the Michigan State Spartans overcame a 16-point first half deficit at the United Center in Chicago. Guard Travis Trice scored 20 points and forward Matt Costello had a big second half as the Spartans prevailed 62-58 to advance to the Big Ten title game Sunday against top-seed Wisconsin.

Head Coach Mark Turgeon and his team will now take on Valparaiso in the 1st Round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday March 20.

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The Terps were projected by many, including Joe Nunardi of ESPN.com and Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com as a #3-seed in the upcoming Big Dance. After their loss on Saturday they fell to a No. 4 seed. Either way, if Maryland wants their stay in the their first NCAA Tournament appearance in five years to last into the second weekend, they are going to need junior forward Jake Layman to step up his game.

Layman, who averages 12.8 point per game, scored only 16 points combined in Maryland two Big Ten Tourney games against Indiana and Michigan State. In 68 minutes of play in Chicago, Layman could only muster 12 shots from the field.

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I know it’s easy to defer to stars Dez Wells and Melo Trimble, but Layman is a veteran and needs to assert himself on the court. Too often, he is completely uninvolved in the flow of Maryland’s offense. In fairness, the guards need to do a better job of getting him more touches. However, it is ultimately on Layman to incorporate himself into the game.

Layman, who is Maryland’s leading rebounder at 5.9 RPG, has been a reliable third scoring option for Turgeon this season. With his shooting skills and athleticism, he is certainly capable of doing things on offense.

But if the Terps want to make some real noise in the NCAA Tournament, they are going need more than what they have been getting from him.

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They need Jake Layman to be a difference maker.