Preview: Maryland hits road to take on Florida State

Preview: Maryland hits road to take on Florida State
January 12, 2014, 11:30 am
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Maryland looks to rebound against Noles

(Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports)

VITALS

Date: 12 January 2014

Time: 8 p.m.

Location: Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, Fla.

Television: ESPNU

Spread: Florida State (-7)

FAST BREAK PREVIEW

The last time a Maryland team traveled to Tallahassee, it was Randy Edsall’s football team and they left with nothing but a 63-0 loss to the eventual national champions to show for it. Mark Turgeon’s basketball team heads to Florida State on Sunday night with hopes of a better outcome against coach Leonard Hamilton and the Seminoles.

Preview it all below.

[RELATED: Maryland stands in solidarity with former manager during cancer battle]

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Maryland guard Dez Wells vs. Florida State guard Ian Miller

Wells talked to the media on Saturday about his relationship with Miller, which goes back to their high school careers in North Carolina. The Seminoles senior was hampered by a foot injury for most of last season, but is now healthy and leading Florida State in scoring.

Wells, too, leads his team in scoring, including a few performances like the one he had against Boston College where he simply took over and carried Maryland to a win. Miller has the ability to go shot-for-shot with Wells and the Maryland junior admitted as much on Saturday.

Teams are more regularly making a concerted effort to take away Jake Layman and neutralize him on the perimeter. The only way Maryland can alleviate the pressure on him is to get to the basket and draw defenders, which Wells is capable of doing.

MARYLAND PLAYER TO WATCH

Seth Allen, guard

The recovery process for Seth Allen continues, slowly but surely. This extended period of time off without games has helped him to recover more, the sophomore said on Saturday, but he still has a while to go until he’s back to 100 percent.

The biggest area of concern related to the injury is lateral movement, which means his defense takes a hit as he works to get stronger. We also haven’t seen his full explosiveness offensively when attacking the basket for the same reason.

Roddy Peters will likely start again, but expect Allen’s minutes to be steadily rising.

[RELATED VIDEO: Turgeon says, 'I believe in my guys']

FLORIDA STATE PLAYER TO WATCH

Boris Bojanovsky and Michael Ojo, center

Bojanovsky is a large, large man. At 7-3, he’ll inherently create a matchup problem for Maryland without a player like Alex Len in the middle. His rebounding and scoring numbers don’t jump off the page, but he averages 2.1 blocks in just over 18 minutes per game.

But there’s not just one seven-footer.

Ojo creates the same problem and Turgeon said Saturday that the Seminoles protect the rim better than almost any team in the country. What’s the solution?

Outside shooting helps. If you can stay away from the shot blockers entirely, that solves itself. But to get the outside shooting going, Maryland will need to attack the basket, which means going right at the body of Florida State’s shot blockers. Creating foul trouble has a funny way of creating space around the rim as the game wears on.

INTANGIBLE TO CONSIDER

After playing five straight games at home, Maryland plays three of its next four on the road, including its last loss to Pittsburgh.

Mark Turgeon was right in saying that high-major teams typically don’t play as many road games in the non-conference, which makes conference play tougher. The real brutal stretch is in the first two weeks of February when Maryland plays four road games out of five, including trips to North Carolina and Duke.