Three things to watch: Rebounding, Hayes, shooting percentages
A little less than seven hours remain until tip-off for tonight's Maryland-Florida State match-up. The Terrapins are looking to regain some momentum after Sunday's loss at Clemson, while the Seminoles are looking to build off their recent win over Boston College. Here are a few things to keep track of while watching the game:
1) Rebounding (in a double entendre sense). Literally, it will be important for Maryland to attack the boards with the same vigor it did the first time it played Florida State back on Jan. 10. On that day, the Terrapins out-rebounded a Seminoles squad with superior frontcourt size thanks to a group effort that included significant contributions on the glass from Landon Milbourne, Jordan Williams, Sean Mosley, Dino Gregory and James Padgett. Florida State is one of the top rebounding units in the conference, so if the Terrapins can take away that advantage, it will bode well for their chances for victory. Figuratively, Maryland is looking to recover from a lackluster showing at Clemson on Sunday in which its ball-handling and execution were sloppy.
2) Eric Hayes. The senior guard made 5 of 6 three-point attempts against Florida State on Jan. 10 and finished with 17 points. Hayes, Maryland's best long-range shooter, would appear well suited to thrive against the Seminoles, who do not defend the perimeter particularly well. If Hayes can get into an offensive rhythm early and the Terrapins can force Florida State to pay more attention to guarding the three-point line, that will spread out the Seminoles' interior defense and create more room to operate in the lane.
3) Shooting percentages. Florida State and Maryland rank No. 1 and No. 6, respectively, in the nation in field goal percentage defense, which means it is not likely that tonight's contest will be a high-scoring affair. The Seminoles are allowing their opponents to shoot 36.2 percent from the field, while the Terrapins are holding their opponents to 37.0 percent shooting from the field. This might not be like Sunday's game against Clemson when neither team scored 65 points, but it won't be a shoot-out, either. Maryland has not allowed an opponent to score more than 64 points in its past five games.
February 4, 2010; 2:11 PM ET
Categories: Men's basketball
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