Preview: Maryland looks to avoid repeat vs. Florida State

Preview: Maryland looks to avoid repeat vs. Florida State
February 8, 2014, 6:00 am
(Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports)

VITALS

Date: 8 February 2014

Time: 3 p.m.

Location: Comcast Center, College Park, Md.

Television: ESPN2

Spread: N/A

FAST BREAK PREVIEW

It was so bad.

Maryland traveled to Tallahassee on Jan. 12 and watched Florida State put on a shooting barrage that was simply unmatchable. The Seminoles hit 24-of-34 shots from behind the arc on their way to an 85-61 blowout win.

Is the same in store on Saturday? Preview it all below.

[RELATED: Former Terp ruptures eardrum, tallies triple-double]

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Maryland’s perimeter defense vs. Florida State’s shooters

And all this time when Maryland traveled to Tallahassee, we thought it would be about the length and size that Florida State has, including its pair of seven-footers. But 24-of-34 shooting from deep would suggest otherwise.

The question on Saturday is this: will Maryland head Mark Turgeon double down and dare an otherwise marginal three-point shooting team to do it again, or will he adjust and do something differently?

Maryland’s problem in the first matchup was that they were so packed into the paint that they were unable to close on shooters. Mix poor defense with a hot shooting night and you get the result that they had.

MARYLAND PLAYER TO WATCH

Dez Wells, Maryland

When Wells wants to take over, he can take over. He has shown it against Boston College, Pittsburgh, and others this season. There was even a stretch of Maryland’s loss to North Carolina where the Terrapins ran a simple 1-4 Low to isolate Wells and let him go to work 1-on-1.

How much of that will we see against Florida State? If the offense stalls, those isolations for Wells can be a spark. Turgeon would prefer, of course, much more balance. The question will be if he gets it or not.

[RELATED: Terps have game plan, exact opposite happens]

FLORIDA STATE PLAYER TO WATCH

Boris Bojanovsky and Michael Ojo, center

It was these two seven-footers in the last preview of these two teams and so it shall be again. As James Michael McAdoo showed for North Carolina this week, Maryland can do little against a team that is determined to score inside with their size. Charles Mitchell, Shaquille Cleare, and Evan Smotrycz are below-the-rim players who have trouble with length.

Florida State has a lot of that.

Expect Jonathan Graham and even Damonte Dodd to see time as Turgeon tries to fight length with scrappiness and more length. We’ll just have to see if it works.

INTANGIBLE TO CONSIDER

This is the pivotal game of Maryland’s stretch of four road games out of five overall. This is also that one home game within that stretch. If Maryland wants to finish 2-3, it absolutely needs this game.

With Duke and Virginia coming up on the road, a win at home against Florida State is much more likely than a grind-it-out win in Charlottesville or taking down the presumed ACC Rookie of the Year at Cameron.