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MBB Game 18: Maryland 73 at Florida State 76


On Tuesday night, the Seminoles made their way to Raleigh and walked away with a 78-65 win against NC State. Not to be too cliched, but that was a must win game. After battling against an outstanding Duke team, the Noles were a set up for a dissapointment against the Wolfpack. Instead, our team battled through periods of mental mistakes to win by 13. Our offense took on a different style/tempo and we made a statement.

This afternoon, we take on the Terps from Maryland at home. This is a must win game. Our team needs the confidence that we can win regularly in the ACC. Maryland is coming off a disapointing loss against Miami.

Let's take a look at the match up and a few final thoughts on the NC State game.

I'm posting this early due to the early game time on Saturday, allowing some discussion to occur.

Hopefully, our win over the Wolfpack will mark the day that Deividas Dulkys had his coming out party. Dulkys, a 6'3 to 6'4 guard, from Lithuania was the 67th ranked player by and ranked 14th overall at the shooting guard position. I couldn't find many recruiting videos on him but here is one from you tube. He's number 4 in the video. Make sure you don't blink at the end or you will miss him. Here is his highschool team's video and another cameo appearance. During many a game thread, we have discussed the erratic play of Loucks and many have asked who is that #4's Dulkys. Our friends at Noles sports have taken notice as well. Dulkys played a great game and proved that he could play at both ends of the court. Even Hamilton was excited by his play: "I thought his defense was consistent the entire nigh. That's a pleasant surprise. Sometimes you have freshmen that have been offensive players all of their lives, but then they come to college and you challenge them to play defense. But he has accepted that challenge." Look for more of Dulkys in the games to come. This kid can shoot and if we can mature our offense, he will be putting up some ridiculous numbers on the offensive end.

I'm excited that Dulkys is starting to get more minutes and I'm delighted that Gibson is making more appearances. This is a talented team that is as deep as any other team in the country. As Douglas said: " We go 10 and 11 deep and everybody's playing together." Against NC State, we only turned the ball over on 17% of our possessions, the second fewest all year. We did extremely well on the offensive boards and we got to to the free throw line. We barely made it to the line against Duke. Free throw shooting is a hallmark of Hamilton teams: get there often and shoot lights out. Hamilton's overall impression of the game was the following: "We were able to get some stops on defense and kept executing our offense. For the first time on the road in an ACC game, we showed some poise and confidence." Now we need to do it at home...

Gary Williams's team is 12-4 this year and has had a surprisingly difficult OOC schedule, playing the likes of Georgetown, Gonzaga, Michigan St. and Michigan. They are 1-1 in conference play, beating Georgia Tech at home 68-61, a game in which they were down for almost the entire game. They made a big come back late in the second quarter to steal the win. They only shot 31.5% from the floor that game and only 19% (5-26) from three point land. A few nights later, they lost a heart breaker to Miami on the road, leading from the start only to lose by 2 allowing the 'Canes to rally from 17 down. Jack McClinton, one of Miami's outstanding offensive players, drained a 3 with 24 seconds to go to seal the victory. Maryland is in a tough spot, losing a tight game on the road to Miami and having to follow it up with a game at the Tucker Center against a defensive minded, aggressive Florida State team.

Let's take a look at Maryland....

Category Offense Defense D-I Avg
Adj. Efficiency: 103.2 [122] 88.8 [24] 100.2
Adj. Tempo: 70.0 [80] 67.4
Four Factors
Effective FG%: 46.3 [257] 44.9 [50] 48.7
Turnover %: 17.7 [26] 24.1 [34] 21.0
Off. Reb. %: 35.2 [105] 33.5 [173] 33.3
FTA/FGA: 28.6 [318] 25.6 [17] 36.2
Miscellaneous Components
3P%: 31.6 [252] 32.0 [91] 34.0
2P%: 45.9 [235] 43.5 [51] 47.6
FT%: 78.8 [6] 61.7 [10] 68.5
Block%: 8.7 [166] 12.6 [38] 8.9
Steal%: 8.0 [37] 11.9 [50] 10.0
Style Components
3PA/FGA: 28.0 [276] 32.0 [133] 33.1
A/FGM: 55.5 [145] 52.0 [114] 54.5
Point Distribution (% of total points)
3-Pointers: 23.0 [276] 29.1 [116] 27.6
2-Pointers: 57.4 [55] 56.0 [61] 52.1
Free Throws: 19.6 [200] 14.9 [330] 20.3

If you haven't noticed...Pomeroy has updated his formatting. A couple of things immediately jump out. They do not shoot the ball well at all and they don't get to the line. Currently, Maryland is ranked 51st overall in the Pomeroy ratings. We are 59th and moving up the board quickly. Their offense is ranked 122 and their defense is ranked 24th. We rank 173rd (much improved) and 14th, respectively. Last year, the Terps went 19-15 overall and finished 8-8 in the ACC, losing in the second round of the NIT to Syracuse. They are returning 70% of possible returning minutes and are projected to go 7-9 in conference play this year. I don't think that will happen. Gary Williams's team is not playing up to expectations. They lost to Gonzaga 81-59, Georgetown 75-48 and Morgan St. 66-65.

So...what does Maryland do well? Play defense. Maryland is holding their opponents to 56 points per game, which is 56th nationally and 4th in the conference, only allowing 0.88 points per possession. Part of this is due to the fact that they don't allow teams to get to the line. Miami only made it to the free throw line 9 times. I would be upset if FSU didn't make it to the stripe at least 9 times in the first half. They also block a high percentage of shots and challenge shots well. They also force a high percentage of turnovers, particulary by stealing the ball. This presents an interesting challenge for the Noles. We are one of the worst teams in the country at turning the ball over, losing the ball on almost 24% of our possessions and allowing steals on 10.1% of our possessions (this has been creeping up recently). In general, we don't allow many steals...huh? We make a lot of sloppy plays and poor decisons, but in general, Douglas et al. protect the ball relatively well. If we can keep our turnover rate low we should be fine.

Clearly our defense is our bread and butter. Maryland does not shoot the ball well.

UMD Effective FG Pct (Games)

Pomeroy writes that the key to winning games is taking care of the "four factors." Recently, Maryland has seen a drop in their shooting percentage and offensive rebounding percentage:

UMD Effective FG Pct (Games) vs UMD Turnover Pct (Games) vs UMD Off Rebound Pct

Compare this chart to FSU:

FSU Effective FG Pct (Games) vs FSU FT Rate Pct (Games) vs FSU Turnover Pct (Ga

I think the general trend to notice with our chart is that the TO% is decreasing and the overall OR% is increasing. Shooting the ball well is key, but it's tough to follow this trend...obviously, we're decreasing but:

FSU Effective FG Pct (Games) vs FSU Opponent FG%

We have typically kept our opponents eFG& below ours. Keep in mind that this is weighted for 3 point field goals. We are one of the best teams in the country against the 2 and teams typically shoot the deep ball better against us as a result and may be reflected in some falsely elevated eFG%.

Here are the match ups:

Point Guard:

Adrian Bowie 6'2 190 So 10.4 ppg eFG% 50.7% 2.6 apg 1.3 apg 1.1 AT Ratio

Toney Douglas 6'2 205 Sr 18.5 ppg 49.7% 2.6 apg 2.0 apg 0.9 AT Ratio

Bowie has been asked to take on a huge responsibility as point guard at Maryland in his sophomore year. Last year, he was plagued by turnovers. This year, he continues to do the same, turning it over on 22.6% of possessions. He does return the favor on the other end stealing the ball 2.9% of his opponents possessions. He also gets to the line quite often and distributes the ball well. Douglas should win this match up. If Coach K said he would love to have Douglas on his team, we shouldn't worry about Toney's performance in this game.

Shooting Guard:

Greivis Vasquez 6'6 190 Jr 17.8 ppg 47.6 eFG% 4.9 apg 1.6 spg 6.1 rpg

Jordan Demercy 6'7 208 So 4.1 ppg 43.1 eFG% 2.4 apg 1.1 spg 3.4 rpg

Vasquez is their top player, with the highest ORtg and playing 84% possible minutes. He gets the ball on 26% of their possessions and takes 27% of their shots. Once again, DeMercy will have his handsful if he starts. Kitchen got the nod last time. Vasquez also does a nice job on the defensive boards and actually distributes the ball well for a bigger guard. His turnover percentage has improved from last year, but like Bowie, he will turn the ball over. We need to shut him down early and prevent him from geting off to a good start. He is also shooting a ridiculous 94% from the FT line.

Small Forward:

Eric Hayes 6'4 184 Jr 10 ppg 49.2 eFG% 3.4 apg 3.3 apg

Chris Singleton 6'9 220 Fr 9.2 ppg 49.1 eFG% 0.9 apg 6.1 apg

So I guess this isn't a fair match up and I shouldn't list Hayes as a small forward...Vasquez may have been better to discuss here, but Vasquez really is a true 2 guard. Maryland goes small and starts a three guard line up. This is not a fair match up for either Singleton or Hayes and don't expect to see this at all. I needed to put Hayes somewhere. Hayes contributes on the offensive end, distributes the ball well and otherwise uses up a lot of minutes. Singleton continues to impress me and look for him to dominate in this game. Maryland has no inside presence and Singleton can play anywhere on the floor.

Power Forward:

Landon Milbourne 6'7 207 Jr 12 ppg 52.8% eFG% 5.3 rpg 1.3 block/game

Ryan Reid 6'8 235 Jr 6.8 ppg 45% eFG% 4.0 rpg 0.8 block/game

Milbourne is their seond best overall player and likely their best offensive player, if you use the ORtg. He shoots the bal extremely well, rarely turns the ball over and generates steals and blocks. He is their offensive rebounder along with Vasquez. Reid didn't start the last game and at the time of writing this I have no idea if he will start again. Keeping Milbourne quiet will be key to this game. He plays bigger than his 6'7.


Dave Neal 6'7 263 Sr 7.6 ppg 4.6 rpg 0.1 block/game

Solomon Alabi 7'1 241 Fr 7.1 ppg 5.6 ppg 2.0 block/game

Obviously, our height is a huge advantage in this game. Even if Maryland goes small, we can counter with big athletic guards that can keep up with smaller guards. Neal shoots the ball well and rarely turns it over and plays productive minutes on both ends. His ORtg is 113, second best on the team. He wasn't expected to make a huge contribution this year in the pre-season. Look for Alabi to have a huge game. There is no reason we can't shut down the paint area and clean up on the offensive boards.

Maryland's other contributers are Sean Mosely, a freshman and Cliff Tucker, a sophomore. So why is Maryland so good...They don't turn the ball over and they score a lot of points at the free throw line. What do we do well...we limit our opponents ability to get to the line, only allowing 20.4% of our oppnents poinst from the line. We score 24.7% of our points at the line. We also close out on jump shots, allowing teams to shot only 40% from the floor, 11th best in the nation. This is largely due to Alabi and company shutting down the paint.

Maryland is a deceptively good team and has won some good games in their OOC schedule: Michigan, MSU, Georgia Tech (barley). Despite Pomeroy thinking we have a slim chance to win this game, I think we take care of business and continue to make our case to be in the NCAA tournament.



(Unfortunately, I won't be home in time to catch the game with you all. Enjoy! The game will be televised on raycom. Check out to see if anyone has a live feed for you.)