FSU vs Maryland preview and game thread

Deividas Dulkys basked in the glory of his starring role in Saturdays 33-point beat down of North Carolina for about as long as it took him to get from the court to the interview room. By then he was done talking about Carolina and had moved on to Maryland. So at least the senior knows how his team should be focusing. Whether or not they have been properly focused should be evident in a couple hours. The Terrapins (12-4, 2-1) are in town and they arrive tied with FSU (11-6, 2-1) in the ACC. The Terps lost a close game at NC State and then took care of business at home against Wake Forest and Georgia Tech. Out of conference they only lost to good teams (Alabama, Iona and Illinois) and they have a win over Notre Dame.

This has been a tale of two seasons for Maryland. In the first part they went 6-3 and were so shorthanded that a walk-on was getting more than 10 minutes a game. In the 2nd part they saw the return of sophomore point guard Pe'Shon Howard and the arrival of 7'0 Ukranian freshman Alex Len. They've gone 6-1 with Len averaging 8.4 points and 6.6 boards, and Howard playing his usual all-around games with 5.7 points, 4.3 boards and 4.3 assists.

1st year head coach Mark Turgeon typically had solid, balanced teams at Texas A&M. Maryland isn't quite there yet. On offense they're decent, but nothing more. They do have the leading scorer in the conference in sophomore guard Terrell Stoglin (20.9 ppg, almost 4 points higher than the next closest ACC player). Stoglin is a special player. He can score from anywhere and takes good care of the ball. But he takes 37% of the shots when he's on the floor, which makes their offense 1-dimensional. They go as he goes. Senior guard Sean Mosley is the only other player averaging double figures (11.1).

Prior to the arrival of Alex Len, the interior was held down by 6'8 junior James Padgett, who has the best offensive rebound rate in the nation. Overall their offensive rebound rate is 27th nationally and they're the 3rd best team in the country at getting to the foul line. FSU will likely defend Maryland the same way they played Virginia Tech (though the this case the entire defense will be keying on Stoglin rather than Erick Green). Contain Stoglin, and make the rest of the team beat you.

Defensively, Maryland isn't a very good team. They're 312th at forcing turnovers and 213th at defensive 2-pt FG%. FSU should be able to do enough on offense to win, assuming the defense carries the day. If the team which beat the Hokies and mauled the Tar Heels shows up, no problem. If the team that laid an egg against Clemson shows up, this very easily could turn into an upset.

The game tips at 9pm from the Donald L Tucker Center, and will be broadcast on ESPNU. FSU opened -13 in Vegas, but the line has moved two full points (to -11) since then, which is never a good sign.

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