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Terps prepare for Florida State's length

After essentially having a bye week to prepare for their ACC opener Sunday against Florida State, Maryland players and Coach Gary Williams spoke earlier today about the challenge of facing the frontcourt length the Seminoles possess. Florida State offers a starting frontcourt that features Solomon Alabit (7-foot-1), Chris Singleton (6-foot-9) and Ryan Reid (6-foot-8). Off the bench, the Seminoles can bring in Xavier Gibson (6-foot-11) and Jordan DeMercy (6-foot-7).

"It’s different out there because you can know exactly what they’re going to do defensively or offensively, but you can’t duplicate the length in practice," Gary Williams said. "There’s no way to do that."

Players said points of emphasis over the past week have included help defense, ball movement and denying entry passes -- all in an attempt to try to negate Florida State's size advantage as much as possible.

Will Maryland go into the zone look that was so successful during the second half of last season's match-up down in Tallahassee? It's likely, though senior guard Eric Hayes said the team still would start out in man-to-man defense, as it alsmost always does.

Though he acknowledged it sounds odd, Gary Williams said one thing a team wants to try to do against a taller opponent is get to the glass. That makes sense against Florida State, which likes to collapse around those who drive to the basket. Should the Terrapins be able to do that successfully, there should be plenty of open looks out on the perimeter.

That said, Williams and players noted that the team will try to remain inside-out oriented on offense and true to its high-pressure identity on defense, despite its physically imposing foe.

"We don’t really change much about our game," senior forward Landon Milbourne said. "I think if we just play how we play, we’ll be okay. But it’s just all about defense, really. You know, last game we scored a lot of points off defense, and this game we’ll try to do the same thing. So, if we can stop those guys and get them to take tough shots and rebound and battle with them on the boards, then I think we’ll be okay. Those guys are big, and it’s just going to take a lot of extra passing, and that’s what we’ve been working on so far in practice."

By Steve Yanda  |  January 9, 2010; 2:51 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Look out for the big guy in the middle


Looks like they read my coments about how they need to play the game.

I sure hope GV did, because he can penetrate, but he needs to look back outside for the open man on the perimeter. Maybe he will do this only after he gets it pushed back down his throat trying to score. Hope that isn't a necessary learning experience...

Posted by: petecard | January 10, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

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