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Three things to watch

Finally, ACC season has arrived for the Terrapins. In a few hours they'll host Florida State in their conference opener. Should be an interesting contest, given the Seminoles' size advantage and Maryland's ability to apply defensive pressure. Here are a few things of which to keep track while taking in this evening's game:

1) Ball movement. Florida State possesses one of the tallest frontcourts Maryland is going to come across this season, and the Seminoles can bring considerable length off the bench, as well. They lead the ACC in blocked shots, which shouldn't really come as much surprise. With guys like Solomon Alabi, Chris Singleton, Ryan Reid and Xavier Gibson serving as obstacles in the post, Maryland will need to find a way to get them moving laterally on defense. If allowed to remain stationary, Florida State's collection of shot blockers will just wait for opportunities to pad their totals. If the Terrapins can resist the urge to take the first open shot that presents itself and instead make a few extra passes, it should serve them better over the course of the game.

2) Zone defense. Maryland will open the contest in its usual man-to-man defense, and if it proves effective, the Terrapins will stick to it. However, against an opponent with such an overt size advantage, don't be surprised if Maryland ends up playing a lot of zone defense against the Seminoles. Last season, the Terrapins utilized zone defense effectively in the second half of their game at Tallahassee (Maryland lost in overtime).

3) Derwin Kitchen. Florida State is fairly turnover prone, and that stems in large part from the fact that the Seminoles don't possess many capable ball-handlers outside of Kitchen, their junior point guard. If the Terrapins can pressure Kitchen and wear him down, that should lead to more Florida State turnovers, which would lead to more Maryland transition scoring opportunities.

By Steve Yanda  |  January 10, 2010; 12:08 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Next: Maryland opens ACC play with 77-68 win over Florida State


Good win today.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | January 10, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

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