After beating Virginia Tech at home Saturday, the University of Maryland (13-1 overall, 1-0 in the ACC), now prepares for their second Atlantic Coast Conference game of the year vs. Florida State this Wednesday night (8pm) at home in College Park.
Following their first ACC Tournament Title, FSU was picked 4th in the ACC Basketball Preseason Poll. Guard Michael Snaer was named to the preseason All-ACC team. Like Maryland, the Seminoles are also coming off of a Saturday win, having won at Clemson 71-66. With that victory, FSU is 9-5 overall, 1-0 in league play.
The Seminoles season started with a 76-71 home loss to South Alabama (Sun Belt Conference). FSU rebounded from that disappointment to win their next 4 games vs. Buffalo, BYU, St. Joseph’s, and North Florida.
Their 2nd loss came in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, when they dropped a 77-68 decision at home to then #21 Minnesota. In that game, FSU lost on the boards (32-29), and had 15 turnovers, against just 8 assists.
That loss was followed by two more losses; 61-56 to Mercer (Atlantic Sun Conference), and a crushing 72-47 home defeat to in-state rival Florida. In the loss against Mercer, the teams were equal on the glass, and FSU had 18 turnovers. From the floor, the Seminoles shot just 35% (17 of 48). In the loss to the Gators, FSU managed just 15 points in the 1st half. Florida won on the boards 33-26, and FSU had 22 turnovers. Florida made 49% of their shot attempts.
Since that 3 game losing streak, the Seminoles have rebounded to win 5 of their last 6 games. Outside of the Clemson win Saturday, they also beat Maine, LA Monroe, Charlotte (on the road), and Tulsa. The loss in that stretch was a 78-72 road defeat at Auburn. The Tigers were just 22 of 63 (35%) from the floor, but were able to get to the foul line an astounding 41 times. FSU also turned the ball over 20 times.
Snaer, (Senior, 6’5 200 lbs), leads FSU in scoring at 15.6 ppg. He is shooting 40.3% from beyond the arc, on 5.5 attempts per game.
Okaro White (Junior, Forward, 6’8 205 lbs) averages 12.9 ppg, and 6.1 boards.
Terrence Shannon (Junior, Forward, 6’8 240 lbs) comes off the bench, but is FSU’s 3rd leading scorer at 9.2 ppg, and leads FSU with 6.5 rebounds per game.
Boris Bojanovsky (Freshman, Center 7’3, 240 lbs) gets 10 minutes per game off the bench. I would expect Coach Hamilton to give Bojanovsky some time against Len.
Nationally, the Seminoles are:
67th Points Per Game (73.6)
178th Rebounds Per Game (35.2)
191st Assists Per Game (12.7)
80th FG % (.458)
204th Scoring Defense (67.8)
182nd Turnover Margin (.2)
Florida State is 70th in the KenPom Ratings, and was 96th in RPI (not showing the results of the Clemson game).
Coach Hamilton has been at FSU since 2002. He’s a 2x Big East Coach of the Year, and a 2x ACC Coach of the Year (the last coming last year).
Prediction: Hopefully for the Terps, Faust will be past his back spasms, and available to provide defense on the wing against Snaer. Even if Faust is not available, I’m expecting a comfortable 12-15 point Maryland win. The Terrapins should win on the glass, and FSU’s propensity for a high-level of turnovers will greatly hurt the Seminoles. Maryland will pound the ball inside, and get to the line often.