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How Trimble's spike in FT attempts affects Terps in NCAA tournament

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How Trimble's spike in FT attempts affects Terps in NCAA tournament

COLLEGE PARK -- Throughout the season, Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon has dropped not-so-subtle hints about his displeasure with the officiating as it pertains to star point guard Melo Trimble.

Trimble, who got to the free-throw line an average of 6.9 times per game last season, saw his number of trips cut significantly to 4.9 this year.

But in the NCAA tournament, something has clicked. Through two games, Trimble has gotten to the line 23 times and hit 22 of those attempts. He was 9-of-9 in the team's win over South Dakota State and 13-of-14 to help Maryland punch its ticket to the Sweet 16 with a win over Hawaii.

So what changed from the regular season to the tournament?

"Nothing," Trimble said on Tuesday, smiling. "Just getting more calls and, I mean, there's nothing I can do to change that. Just don't worry about the calls and just play."

When the Maryland sophomore is able to get to the line at that rate, the offense changes. Free throws become a substitute for made field goals when the offense struggles in the half-court -- which it is prone to do -- or a supplementary piece that allows the Terrapins to create separation and put a team away, like they did against Hawaii in the second half of Sunday's Round of 32 game. 

MORE TERPS: 'WE'RE NOT SCARED'

For Trimble personally, it allows him to control tempo. If nothing comes of the first 20 seconds of a shot clock, he can attack the basket with the floor spread and draw a foul to create a point-scoring opportunity out of almost thin air. 

When he hits free throws at nearly an 88 percent clip, it is easy money.

"They called the games differently," Turgeon said Tuesday, acknowledging that it goes both ways. "We were in foul trouble in Spokane, especially the first game against South Dakota State. We were in unbelievable foul trouble and just trying to get through it and we did. 

"It's good to see Melo get there [to the free throw line]. It kind of opened things up for him and opened things up for the other players, too."

Turgeon went on to say that the game plan won't change. And why would it? After going 1-of-18 from three against Hawaii, you would expect that three-point shooting number to improve and it will need to if Maryland wants to beat Kansas. 

But it seems that the interior is where the focus should be until the Jayhawks take it away because that is what will create the good looks around the basket, the opportunities at the free-throw line, or the open shots from three if the Kansas defense collapses.

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Maryland wastes their best change become bowl eligible in loss to Indiana

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USA TODAY Sports

Maryland wastes their best change become bowl eligible in loss to Indiana

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.  -- Indiana Hoosiers coach Tom Allen changed tactics this week.

Instead of focusing on one game, he took the big-picture approach and his players responded.

Stevie Scott's late, long run set up Logan Justus for a 42-yard go-ahead field goal with 2:32 to play and Nile Sykes recovered a fumble in the final minute to preserve Indiana's 34-32 come-from-behind to keep Indiana in the postseason discussion.

"I didn't want to talk about going to bowl games, but I just said, `You know what, forget all that, I'm talking about bowl games' because they're big," Allen said. "I'm going to call these guys out on it and say that's what we're playing for."

After a slow start, the Hoosiers (5-5, 2-5 Big Ten) rebounded with three touchdowns in less than 4 minutes in the first half then closed with a flurry to snap a four-game skid. They need one more victory to become bowl-eligible.

At least they still have a chance and largely because they got contributions from each phase.

Scott carried 19 times for 103 yards and one touchdown. Peyton Ramsey went 16 of 28 with 243 yards, two TD passes and one interception and also made two shifty moves on a 35-yard scoring run in the first half.

The defense held Maryland (5-5, 3-4) to field goals on its first two trips into the red zone and forced four turnovers, including the sealing strip-sack of backup quarterback Tyrrell Pigrome.

Justus made all four extra points and two field goals, something Maryland could not. A missed extra point and a failed 2-point conversion with 4:54 left took crucial points off the board for Maryland, spoiling Anthony McFarland's career-best day. He ran 29 times for 210 yards in relief of the injured Ty Johnson.

With the loss for Maryland, their bowl hopes have taken a significant hit.

All the team needs is one more win to extend their season by a game and make the postseason. Their remaining two games are against Top 25 opponents Ohio State and Penn State. 

Maryland's lone Top 25 win this season was in the opening week against Texas. 

"This isn't the last game of the season," interim coach Matt Canada said. "Oh my gosh we wanted to win, we certainly could have."

It sure wasn't easy for the Hoosiers , either, even after they took a 31-15 lead midway through the third quarter.

Maryland charged back after Javon Leake returned a kickoff 47 yards to the Indiana 27-yard line. Two plays later, Leake scooted right and sprinted 27 yards down the sideline for a touchdown. Pigrome's 2-point conversion pass to McFarland made it 31-23.

The Terrapins closed to 31-26 on a field goal early in the fourth and retook the lead when Pigrome hooked up with Jeshaun Jones on a 15-yard TD pass.

But when Tayon Fleet-Davis' run was stopped short of the goal line, Indiana took advantage.

Following a 23-yard kickoff return to the Indiana 40, Scott broke free down the right side of the field and went out of bounds at the Maryland 33. Four plays later, Justus made the decisive field goal.

"It was amazing," Justus said. "I was kind of just spacing out, I was really excited."

NBC Sports Washington's Tyler Byrum contributed to this story. 

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Maryland football lands commitment from Mike Tomlin's son

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USA Today Sports

Maryland football lands commitment from Mike Tomlin's son

Dino Tomlin, the son of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, announced on Twitter Tuesday he has committed to play for the Maryland football team. 

A three-star wide receiver, Tomlin becomes the first Terps commit since D.J. Durkin's firing. He is known for his speed, running a 4.52-second 40-yard dash and is the defending Pennsylvania state champion in the 300m hurdles. 

"I felt it was the right place for me to develop," Tomlin told 24/7 Sports. "Get to see good competition. Close to family. Get to play schools that passed on me," Tomlin said.

There is a family connection with Tomlin and Maryland as well: his uncle, Ed, played for the Terps.

As for the scandal surrounding Maryland football, Tomlin doesn't have too many concerns.

"I feel like they handled it appropriately at this point," he said. "I kind of knew I was going to commit a week or so ago. I just let it pan out."