#19 Florida St. Seminoles (13-2 overall, 1-0 ACC)
Maryland Terrapins (9-4 overall, 0-0 ACC)
Comcast Center 1/10/10 5:30pm
Last game: FSU: def Texas A&M Corpus Christi 94-54. MD: def UNC-Green. 97-63
PF: FSU: 73.3 MD:80.0 PA: FSU: 56.9. MD:67.7
Maryland is 6-1 at home, Florida State is 2-2 on the road
The Terps open ACC play by welcoming the 19th ranked Seminoles to College Park. The 13-2 Seminoles are every bit as good as their record and should be favored to come into the Comcast Center and leave with a win. The Seminoles won at 17th ranked Georgia Tech in their only other ACC game to date and are looking to score a second impressive road win in conference.
This is a game of contrasting styles and both teams will try to exert their style of play on the other. Whichever team can force the other to play their style is the team that will come out of this game victorious. The Seminoles come in with tremendous size and play tenacious defense, yielding less the 60 points on the season. Seven footer Solomon Alabi and 6'7" Chris Singleton both average double- doubles on the season with both grabbing about seven rebounds per game. The Seminoles will not play pretty basketball, but their style has worked on the season. Singleton can step out and hit the 3 point shot, but their main focus will get the ball inside to Alabi and that will likely be where they find success. If they can get Alabi going and get him touches inside on every possession, the Terps defense will be forced to collapse leaving Singleton and Dulkys open behind the 3 point line. Alabi creates match up problems in every for the Terps. If they try to foul him, they are giving the `Noles free points because he is an 81 percent free throw shooter on the season. If they attack him when he is on defense, he is likely to swat their shots away since he averages almost three blocks per game. Look for the Terps to switch defenses constantly to try to confuse the Seminoles and find which defense best works to stop their offense.
Offensively, the Terps should go right at Alabi and try get him into foul trouble early. Scoring will be tough since the `Noles hold their opponents to less then 60 points per game, so the Terps need to be patient, move the ball and not force any shots. Getting transition and second chance baskets are ways to combat the Seminoles tough half court defense and will help the Terps offense. The Terps will need to hit open shots, especially from 3 point range or it could be a long day on the offensive end for them. Look for Vasquez and Mosley to create fast breaks with steals on the defensive end. If they are to have any chance of winning this game the Terps will need good scoring and rebounding games from Milbourne, Gregory and Williams, which will be easier said then done and they will need consistent shooting from Eric Hayes.
With conference play kicking into gear there is no more room for error for the Terps and they absolutely need to hold serve at home if they want to make noise in the ACC. I think they will need 10 wins in conference to ensure a tournament bid, which means they need to win games like this. It is time for Greivis Vasquez to put this team on his shoulders and lead him to victory. That being said, I really don't like this match up for the Terps and think they will come up on the wrong side of the score. I look for the Seminoles to lead a close game throughout and seal it with free throws. FSU 66 Terps 62.