With the Maryland basketball team’s first repeat ACC opponent looming at Florida State, the Terrapins know what to expect. They lost a slug-fest to the Seminoles exactly 20 days ago, watching a nine-point halftime lead disappear thanks to the aggressive efforts of Okaro White (20 points, nine rebounds, six blocked shots) at Comcast Center.
But the familiarity is obviously mutual. Just as Duke was coming off a blowout loss to Miami entering its game against Maryland on Saturday, Florida State suffered a 71-47 loss tp the Hurricanes on Sunday. The Seminoles have dropped three of their past four, including defeats to North Carolina and at Virginia.
“Just the quality of the teams in the ACC are such a level and all the games on TV where everybody has the machines, and all of our things are charted, your strengths and weaknesses,” Seminoles Coach Leonard Hamilton said on Monday’s ACC coaches teleconference. “So there won’t be any surprises. No one’s going to surprise anyone of any new play or anything of that nature.
“We have a tremendous amount of respect for Maryland. They’ll make the adjustments they need to make. They made some game-time adjustments that we had problems handling. They’re a good basketball team. They’re well coached like all the teams in the ACC. Anytime you play a team the second time around, you expect them to be a little better than they were the time before you played them.”
The Terps’ offense played particularly well in the first half earlier this month against Florida State, as they shot 42.9 percent and jumped out to a sizable lead. Alex Len, Nick Faust and Seth Allen all finished in double figures, but Dez Wells shot 2 for 9 from the field and committed five turnovers.
“You just don’t want the fact that you won the game to relax your players and them not remember it was a hard-fought game that we had to come from 12 or 13 down, and we still were able to blow the game open by three points,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton also elaborated on the injury to junior Terrance Shannon, who was carried off the court against Virginia on Jan. 19 with a neck sprain. Shannon is third on Florida State with 8.5 points per game and leads the team with 6.3 rebounds, but played just 14 minutes off the bench and snagged eight boards in the teams’ first game.
Shannon’s future, it appears, doesn’t look good.
“He had a big impact on that game [against Maryland], sending them big, strong, physical guys inside,” Hamilton said. “We all know that Maryland’s got some heavy-duty bodies in there who take up a lot of space, and he neutralized in the last game. We lost that so someone else will have to step up. But with Shannon out for a while, I’m not encouraged one way or the other.
“If we’re going to err on the side of being extremely cautious. I don’t anticipate him coming back any time soon. Who knows? Unless he has a speedy recovery. He’s still in a neck brace. I don’t expect that to come off for a while. The good news is that the injury was not nearly as bad as — it was not nearly as bad. It’s an injury that can completely heal, but it takes time. And everybody’s different in terms of the healing process. We’re going to let nature take its course. It doesn’t weigh heavily into our plans right now. We’ll be happy and grateful if something happened where the healing process was speeding along. But right now we’re moving on with the idea that it’s a strong possibility he might not return this year.”