Maryland might've had a tough loss on Wednesday, but that doesn't mean the year is lost. The Miami win would've been a huge boost, but to be honest, it's not a big loss. Now, if the Terps can't pull it out against Florida State, well, then we will be in a bind. For the record, Maryland's all-time record against Florida State? 26-9, in favor of the Terps.
Just because it's FSU, who traditionally have bad basketball teams, doesn't mean they're not very good this year. The 'Noles are 14-3, meaning they have a better record than Maryland. The fact that Maryland is currently 1-3 away from home, while FSU is 10-1 on their own floor, doesn't bode well for the Terps, either.
FSU's top player is Toney Douglas. He's of similar importance to them as Vasquez is to Maryland, though they really aren't that similar in style. Douglas is a bigtime scorer - he leads the ACC in 20+ point games, and is third in scoring. But he's varied: 2nd in steals, 5th in 3s per game, and 4th in minutes played. The objective here is clear: shut down Toney, shut down FSU. It's not to say they're one-dimensional and he's their only player - no team gets 13 OOC wins like that. But that doesn't mean he shouldn't be the target of the team, especially when Florida State has the ball.
Another thing about FSU is size. Outside of the 6-2 Douglas, every single player in the starting 5 is 6-7 or bigger, plus the first guy off the bench. For comparison - the player Maryland will send out for the tip-off? He's 6-7. That's the size of their shooting guard. Yikes. Whats worse is that these big guys are perfectly capable of - and enjoy - running on the break. That could turn into a positive for Maryland, if they decide to run at the wrong times, but if they pick and choose, it could turn into a romp.
FSU will obviously try to exploit Maryland's lack of size, but they have weaknesses. All these big players are actually very raw offensively. Don't believe me? In the ACC, they rank last in scoring, last in assist-to-turnover ration, second to last in FG%, and 9th in 3 point percentage. They also have two players recovering from early-season injuries, so their depth is a little strained. The team absolutely relies on Toney Douglas offensively, and if Maryland can force him into an off-night, they'll likely win.
What does all this mean? The team needs to run and push the ball up the court. FSU doesn't score a lot, but their big men can manhandle any inside threats, making halfcourt offense a chore. Maryland needs to keep the ball on the perimeter, where they can control the game with the quickness of Adrian Bowie and Greivis Vasquez. They also need some prime outside shooting from Eric Hayes. On the defensive side, I'd look to press often - Toney Douglas isn't a true point guard, and it's a way to make up for the lack of size.
All in all, it may come down to which Maryland shows up - or, more appropriately, when they show up. If they come out and play well for 40 consistent minutes, they win this game and get a solid RPI win. If not, they'll be looking up a huge hole.