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Don't Expect High-Scoring Affair When Terps, Noles Meet

Saturday's match-up between Maryland and Florida State likely won't feature a whole lot of points for several reasons. First of all, both squads play defense pretty darn well*. Secondly, neither squad plays offense with any particular efficiency.

* For the sake of discussion, we're going to assume Maryland's defensive collapse in the final 10 minutes of Wednesday night's debacle against Miami was an aberration. After all, Jack McClinton practically was launching three-pointers from his team's locker room. The guy was shooting without conscience, and his shots were falling. Not saying he couldn't have been better defended; just pointing out there are times when special players get hot and become increasingly difficult to contain.

Florida State and Maryland rank No. 2 and No. 4, respectively, in the ACC in scoring defense. The Seminoles allow an average of 61.2 points per game, while the Terps give up an average of 61.9 points per game. Not a whole lot of difference there.

The Seminoles hold opponents to lower field goal percentages, block more shots and tally more steals. Maryland holds opponents to lower three-point shooting percentages (irony?) and forces more turnovers per game.

Suffice to say, both squads are fully capable of clamping down on a foe's attack, a task that will be significantly easier given their respective opponents on Saturday -- each other.

Maryland and Florida State rank No. 9 and No. 12, respectively, in the ACC in scoring offense. The Seminoles shoot 43.0 percent from the field, a mark ahead of only one ACC team -- the Terps, who shoot 41.9 percent.

Niether team's chances improve when its players move out beyond the arc. Maryland shoots 31.6 percent from three-point range (10th in the ACC), while Florida State hits 32.7 percent (ninth).

Rebounding -- always a critical issue for the Terps -- actually might turn out to be a wash, which would constitute a victory of sorts for Maryland. Florida State, despite its tall and athletic frontcourt, holds an average rebounding margin of +2.9, good for 10th in the ACC.

The Terps, of course, are the ACC's worst unit when it comes to average rebounding margin, holding a +1.6 mark. But the difference between those two numbers is negligible, and in a contest that likely will be dominated by both defenses, that could be an encouraging sign for Maryland.

By Steve Yanda  |  January 16, 2009; 1:21 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Explaining Terps' Inconsistencies

Comments

This team doesn't like/isn't able to play the calculated, half-court game. A big part of that is due to their non-existent inside game.

What's a Terp to do? Play to their strengths! Defend the perimeter and transition for fast-break points. It's our only hope this ACC season.

Posted by: Terptwin | January 16, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

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