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Alex Len finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds and had a key block in the final seconds to help Maryland escape with a 58-57 victory over Alabama on Tuesday night in the NIT quarterfinals.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon knows youthful inconsistency is part of the package when deploying a roster dominated by underclassmen. But during the Terrapins' 72-59 win over Clemson on Saturday, he saw his team showcase an unexpected trait: stability.
Maryland spread the wealth, with six players — Logan Aronhalt, Alex Len, Jake Layman, James Padgett, Seth Allen and Dez Wells — scoring in double figures. Aronhalt led the way with 13 points, while Padgett poured in 12 on 6-for-6 shooting in his second start of ACC play.
Alex Len had 16 points and 13 rebounds, Jake Layman scored 15, and Maryland squeezed past Boston College 64-59 on Tuesday night.
The stream of early season cupcakes didn't leave Maryland soft and weak Saturday when the Terrapins faced Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener. Although opponents hadn't offered much resistance as Mark Turgeon's squad reeled off 12 consecutive wins, regular practice sessions made his team hard, strong and hungry to devour a real foe.
Virginia Tech rang in the new year by getting its bell rung. Maryland jumped out to a 13-4 lead in the opening minutes and never trailed, drilling Virginia Tech 94-71 on Saturday at a sold-out Comcast Center.
Freshman guard Jake Layman scored 18 of his 20 points in the decisive first half, and Maryland rolled past Virginia Tech 94-71 Saturday for its 13th consecutive victory.
Most days after practice, Maryland forward Jake Layman will linger to work with assistants Scott Spinelli and Eric Hayes on getting over screens and on-ball defense. At other times, he'll put up extra shots with teammates.
Maryland's conditioning opportunities decreased in early December, and freshman Charles Mitchell slipped a bit. He added a few pounds, grew a little more sluggish and found his playing time diminish significantly.
Mark Turgeon wanted the breakthrough to come this week. Actually, he probably wanted it a month earlier, but at this stage the sooner the better would suffice.
Mark Turgeon's thoughts drifted to Shaquille Cleare specifically and his team's depth in general as he navigated his way home from Verizon Center after Sunday's defeat of George Mason.
The Maryland Terrapins came up short against the No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats, 72-69, but it was nearly beside the point. The Terps erased a 15-point deficit in the second half, traded the lead with Kentucky and very much looked like they belonged in an important game for the first time under coach Mark Turgeon.
As guard-forward Jake Layman noted, "He's been in the gym a lot shooting and it showed out there. It was great to see."
"I knew I had it in me," said Layman, who finished with 20 points and eight rebounds. "I just had to buckle down and focus on what I was doing wrong and correct it."