Maryland opens ACC play with 77-68 win over Florida State
The Terrapins won't get much time to enjoy this afternoon's win over No. 18 Florida State, given they'll travel to play at Wake Forest on Tuesday night. Still, a victory over a Seminoles squad that entered the day owning the top field goal percentage defense in the country and the best shot-blocking unit in the ACC is worth savoring just a little.
Maryland went right at Florida State and its oversized frontcourt, and the strategy proved highly effective in the first half. The Terrapins got the Seminoles -- and specifically 7-foot-1 center Solomon Alabi -- into early foul trouble and discombobulated Florida State in the early going with its man-to-man defense.
The Terrapins shot better from the field (46.8 percent) than any other Florida State opponent has this season. They drove into the lane and dished out to open teammates. They sank shots from the perimeter. And for the most part they knew when to pass up a shot in order to prolong a possession, even if just for another pass.
"I don’t think we really got the defensive plan down," Florida State guard Deividas Dulkys said. "Coaches told us exactly what they were going to do, and they did it. We were just a split second late. That’s why they were shot-faking and driving the lane and kicking out and getting open shots."
1) Offensive efficiency. If you expected Maryland to try to turn today's game into a track meet, you're not alone. You'd also have been wrong. The Terrapins picked up the pace when they had to, but for the most part they defeated Florida State by out-executing the Seminoles in half-court sets. Maryland drove right at Florida State's imposing big men and reaped the benefits: kick-outs to open teammates, drawing fouls, sucking in defenders so as to put them in a worse position to rebound. Speaking of which, the Terrpains out-rebounded Florida State, 40-34. Who saw that one coming?
2) Defensive efficiency. If you expected Maryland to eventually settle into a zone defense in order to help negate Florida State's significant size advantage, you're not alone. And again, you'd also have been wrong. The Terrapins stayed in their man-to-man defense all game long, and -- save for a four-minute period early in the second half during which Florida State went on an 11-0 run -- the approach proved effective. Florida State point guard Derwin Kitchen (four points, zero assists) never got into any sort of offensive rhythm, and that bled over into the rest of the Seminoles' offense.
3) Eric Hayes. In the previous three games, Maryland’s top long-range threat, Hayes, had shot 3 of 14 (21.4 percent) from three-point range. Williams had said Hayes was getting good looks; the shots simply weren’t falling. On Sunday, Hayes’s fortune lurched upward. He made 5 of 6 attempts from beyond the arc and played a significant role in stretching out a reeling Florida State defense. Hayes finished with 17 points.
1) Adrian Bowie. The sophomore guard showed off a recently-cut faux hawk, but the new look didn't do much for his game. One week after a promising performance against UNC-Greensboro, Bowie disappeared for all intents and purposes against Florida State. He finished with no points on 0 of 1 shooting in 11 minutes. He also tallied two rebounds, two assists, two turnovers and a steal.
2) Free-throw shooting. Maryland made 9 of 17 attempts (52.9 percent) from the charity stripe on Sunday. Greivis Vasquez -- one of the team's best free-throw shooters who otherwise turned in a quality performance with 22 points -- missed four of his seven free-throw attempts. The Terrapins are shooting 69.2 percent from the free throw line on the season.
3) ACC schedule-makers. Maryland players began preparing for their next game roughly 36 seconds after the final horn sounded on Sunday. They didn't have much choice. That next game (Tuesday at Wake Forest) takes place less than 48 hours from now. As Coach Gary Williams will tell you, no other team in the ACC has to make such a quick turnaround between their first and second conference games (and go from home to being on the road, no less). It's a fair point and an unfair situation. But it's the Terps' lot nonetheless. On to Winston-Salem ...
Posted by: HughGRection | January 11, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DMoney28 | January 11, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: fushezzi | January 11, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ICBomber | January 11, 2010 7:59 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jpfterps | January 11, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jpfterps | January 11, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: petecard | January 11, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: restonhoops | January 11, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: lavar609 | January 11, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.