At 9 PM tonight, the Florida State University Men's Basketball team(11-6, 2-1) will be in the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center for a basketball game against the University of Maryland Terrapins(12-4, 2-1), because even though the Noles beat North Carolina by 33 points, they still have to play the rest of their games. Even though we know Deividas Dulkys can go 8-10 from behind the 3 point line, he isn't going to shoot 80% from there for the rest of the season, and is he not going to average in the mid-20s for points either. Although there is a chance something has clicked for the better, FSU is most likely going to score around their 71.3 points per game average on the season, not 90 like against the Tar Heels.
What we do know about Florida State basketball is there are going to be ups and downs. We are a little over halfway through the season, about to play our 4th ACC game the season, and we have already seen our fair share of both. Obviously, the UNC game, beating UCF by 23, and even losing to UCONN in overtime would fall into the high category. In the low category, we have three big road losses(@Michigan, @Florida, @Clemson), losing to Harvard in the Battle 4 Atlantis, and the loss to Princeton at home(mainly the 1st half in this one(10 points, anyone?)).
What we can hope is that the Noles have turned the corner from the inconsistency we have seen from this basketball team this year. We can hope to see consistency offensively. We can hope to see the amount of turnovers this team commits drop as the rest of the season unfolds. We can hope to see continued defensive excellence. Most of all, we can hope to see high effort for the rest of the games this season, whether they're playing Duke or Wake Forest, or the College of Charleston for that matter.
One more thing is certain. I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the basketball season holds for the boys in Garnet and Gold. I am certainly looking forward to seeing this game against Maryland tonight.
The game, tonight, against Maryland could easily be overlooked if the coaches and players are not careful. This is a game that is sandwiched between two college basketball super powers and top-10 teams, as FSU travels to Duke on Saturday. This game could for sure be a trap game for the Seminoles basketball team against a Maryland team that has a couple of good wins on the year(It should be noted that Maryland does have a win over an Ivy League school this year).
From Florida State, we know we can expect another solid defensive effort from Florida State's top ranked unit. But who's going to lead the offensive charge for the Seminoles tonight? It could be any number of players. We know Deividas Dulkys is a streaky shooter, and a blind man could tell by his last game that he is in the middle of one of those positive streaks where everything is falling. Michael Snear leads the team in the points per game statistic through this point of the year. Is it going to be Ian Miller off the bench, who is averaging 12.2 points per game in his 6 games back since becoming academically eligible? If the Terps decide to focus on taking away the Seminoles' shooters outside shots, it could be a big day for starting Forward Bernard James.
Overall, Maryland does not score as many points as Florida State does, averaging 69.2 points per game on the year. Expect Maryland to struggle even more against the much talked about Seminoles D. The one thing that could keep the Terrapins in this game would be for them to win the turnover battle by a wide margin. The Terps average only 13.1 turnovers per game to the Noles 18.2.
The players the University of Maryland is likely to send out against the Seminoles, includes Terrell Stoglin, a 6-1 Sophomore Guard, who leads the team with 20.1 points per game. Also, expect to see Sophomore Guard Pe'Shon Howard on the floor for much of the night. He is only averaging 5.7 ppg but he does a lot of the stuff you like to see on a basketball court. Freshman Center Alex Len has been starting at center, but he has struggled at the beginning of ACC play, so there is a chance he starts the game on the bench. Other contributors for Maryland are Sean Mosley, a 6-4 Senior Guard, and James Padgett, 6-8 Junior Forward.
The line for this game is FSU -11.5. Tip off is at 9:00PM EST, and it is being aired on ESPNU.
Prediction: Noles 74-57
Be sure to check out the live game thread and further coverage of Seminoles basketball at tomahawknation.com