Michigan State will play welcoming committee for the Maryland Terrapins Saturday as both teams kick off their conference schedules.
Maryland brings a 12-1 record into the school’s first conference game as a member of the Big Ten.
Tom Izzo called Maryland probably the second best team in the Big Ten behind the powerhouse Wisconsin Badgers.
Maryland’s biggest contributors are Freshman guard Melo Trimble and Junior big man Jake Layman. The two are tied for highest points per game on the team with 15.8. The 6’9” Layman provides an Adreian Payne-esque mismatch with his ability to score inside and from the arc. He is third on the team in three pointers attempted and hits just over 41 percent.
Michigan State will need to rely heavily on Denzel Valentine and the platoon of Matt Costello and Gavin Schilling to slow down the Terrapin stars. This could be an issue with so much production coming from the big men in the past two games.
If the Spartans win this game it will be because they got their shooting right. In the two games before the holiday break Michigan State shot 8-32 from three point, a rate they cannot maintain if they hope to compete in the Big Ten.
The game starts at 5 p.m. and will be broadcasted on ESPN2.
Hayes Prediction: Maryland 74 – MSU 66
Andrew Hayes is the host of Impact Izzone and a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports