Maryland got nearly a week off after being whipped by Pittsburgh, but gets rewarded with another tough ACC road game. The Terps will play the Florida State Seminoles in the first part of a home-and-home, hoping to get a crucial ACC road victory after stumbling their first time out.
Florida State is a much more beatable team than Pitt, but they're still a tough opponent. At 10-4, their best victories have come over VCU (85-67), a top-25 UMass team (60-55) and at Clemson (56-41), with losses to Michigan, Florida, Minnesota and Virginia. The Seminoles are 1-1 in ACC play, with their last game being the road win at Clemson. This game will tip-off Sunday, January 12, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
Players to watch
Ian Miller, 6'3", senior. Miller is the Seminoles' leading scorer, at 13.5 points per game, and he's a pretty solid scorer who gets to the hoop (and the free throw line) often. He also leads the team in assists, but turns the ball over at a high rate. Maryland will need its help defense inside to be on point against Miller, who is equally adept at driving and dishing as he is at driving and scoring. He also shoots extraordinarily well from the free throw line, so the Terps will want to stop that from happening as well.
Okaro White, 6'8", senior. White is Florida State's tallest player who plays at least half of the team's minutes, which means there could be some interesting size matchups on the inside (and the outside). White is an extremely effective scorer, shooting 54.3% from two, 37% (!) from three and 79.6% from the line while also providing solid work on the boards (6.5 per game, leading the team).
Aaron Thomas, 6'5", sophomore. The second-leading scorer, at 12.4 points per game, Thomas is also a major defensive threat who will cause a whole lot of turnovers. He records a steal on 4.7% of opponent possessions -- ranking 24th in the nation -- and is a major part of Florida State's defense-first mentality. On the offensive end, he also drives to the lane with frequency, getting fouled a lot and making 77.2% of his free throws.
Boris Bojanovsky, 7'3", sophomore. Bojanovsky has been playing more as of late, and for good reason -- he's the tallest player on the team, the most efficient offensive player and the team's best shot-blocker. He brings a rare skill-set for a seven-footer, shooting the ball well from the floor (70.6%) and from the line (78.3%), while also ranking 24th in the nation by blocking 11.8% of opponent shots while he's on the floor. He's playing only 45% of the team's minutes due to foul trouble, but is a major presence on both ends when he's in the game.
Robert Gilchrist, 6'9", sophomore. Florida State has been using a big lineup lately, with White at small forward, Bojanovsky at center and Gilchrist at power forward. Gilchrist is a good rebounder, especially on the offensive end, but is a terrible free throw shooter and doesn't add too much on either end of the floor. He doesn't end up with the ball in his hands too much on set plays, but could grab some points on put-backs if Maryland does not box out.
Montay Braydon, 6'7", sophomore. Speaking of big lineups, Braydon has been playing shooting guard in that rotation. Unfortunately for Florida State, he's not a very good shooter, and has by far the lowest two-point shooting percentage on the team. His biggest strength offensively comes in his ability to get to the free throw line, but he shoots just 61% when he gets there. Braydon also turns the ball over quite a bit, without a high assist rate to back it up.
Devon Bookert, 6'3", sophomore. Bookert splits time with Miller at point guard, and has been used frequently in the Braydon-White-Gilchrist-Bojanovksy lineup. He's second on the team in assists, behind Miller, and the two guards turn the ball over at around the same rate (higher than any Terp not named Roddy Peters or Varun Ram). Bookert is another defensive threat on the 'Noles, forcing turnovers and not getting called for many fouls. On the offensive end, he takes a ton of threes but does not hit many.
Defense, defense, defense. It's been the mantra since Leonard Hamilton took over in Tallahassee, leading to a streak of four straight tournament appearances that ended last season. This year is no different, style-wise, as the Seminoles rank in the top five in the nation in defensive efficiency, opponent effective field goal percentage and opponent two point percentage.
Defensive rebounding, three-point shooting, turnovers. Florida State uses some big rotations, but their only two seven-footers (Bojanovsky and Michael Ojo) get in a lot of foul trouble, leaving them in a tough bind sometimes on the glass. They don't take a whole lot of three pointers, but they don't make them too often when they do, either. Their biggest problem? They turn it over more often than Maryland.
KenPom prediction: 74-65, Florida State. The Seminoles are given a 81% chance to win the game.
Our prediction: Maryland, 62-57. People say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one.