Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Terps Take Trip to Florida

After a close victory over Georgia Tech last Saturday, Maryland has started its ACC schedule 1-0, but now heads to the Sunshine State for two matches against Miami tonight then Florida State this weekend.

Maryland's last game against Georgia Tech may have been a win, but it is clear that there are depth issues. Only four players played more than eight minutes, the normal starting five plus Sean Mosley. While this lineup won and depends on speed to win, only playing primarily six players can potentially turn into major problems. It will force less aggressive play to avoid foul trouble, it is still a small lineup so it is hard to adjust with other people not getting any playing time, and if a couple of people have a bad night, then Maryland will not have many people to turn to. But even so, Maryland is 12-3 and is going on their first true road test.

For the Miami Hurricanes (12-3, 1-1 ACC), the man to watch is Jack McClinton, a former Calvert Hall player. He is a dangerous point guard that can drain the three and dish for the assist. Dwayne Collins is their main big man, standing 6'8'' averaging 12.1 ppg and 7.8 rpg. Though Miami has a slight height advantage, it is not so much that Maryland shouldn't be able to rebounding issues in the frontcourt if they play their hardest.

For Florida State (14-3, 1-1 ACC), they are all about Toney Douglas on shooting, as of January 7th he averages 18.4 ppg, the only one that gets double digit scores a game. Florida State is not the most efficient rebounding team, but they have a freshman starter Solomon Alabi who is 7'1'', so he may be constantly under the basket. Taller doesn't mean better rebounder, but it won't help Maryland can't possibly post him up.

These two games are very important for Maryland. It will be the first time the Terps go on the road against a hostile crowd plus we will see if they continue the six player rotation. Maybe we'll see more Dino Gregory and Braxton Dupree in these games, possibly Jin-Soo Kim. Nonetheless, Maryland shooters need to break out fast to win.

(Photo credit: Baltimore Sun)

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