When Maryland and Florida State take the floor Wednesday night, I implore you to pay close attention.
If not, it may be difficult for you to tell the two teams apart.
Luckily, the teams are forced to wear different colored uniforms, because otherwise, these squads are carbon copies of each other.
Florida State is a good defensive team and an average offensive team. They struggle from the free throw and three-point lines, and they rely—maybe a bit too heavily—on their 6’10” leading scorer.
Does that sound familiar?
It should, because that describes the Terps exactly.
Unfortunately for Maryland, their records and tournament resumes are not similar, because the Seminoles are likely headed for a three-seed in the ACC tournament and seem to be locks for an NCAA Tournament berth.
Will facing a similar team help or hurt the Terps chances in this ACC clash?
Seeing how this is the two teams first meeting of the season, it’s hard to say. But we can look at the Clemson game given the similarities between the Terps, Tigers, and Seminoles.
While the Maryland’s win over Clemson came by a mere two points, the Terps were in control throughout the contest and were never really in danger of losing.
The key to that win for Maryland was a late game switch to a 3-2 zone that sent Clemson’s offense, which had been very efficient for the first 30 minutes of the game, in to a downward spiral.
Clemson is not a good three-point shooting team, and the zone forced them to settle for long range bombs—the Tigers took 26 three-pointers, eight above their season average.
Maryland employed a similar strategy against North Carolina State on Sunday, but the results were not as successful.
Scott Wood, unlike the rest of the Wolf Pack, is actually a good long-distance shooter.
Clemson did not have a Scott Wood on its roster, so the zone worked.
Florida State does not have a Scott Wood on its roster and they are actually worse than the Terps from distance, so the zone should work. The press should also be able to work; Florida State commits a turnover on nearly 25 percent of their possessions.
And if you are wondering: yes, Florida State and Clemson have played, and the Tigers came out on top, 62-44.
So, using the correlative property, Maryland should be able to beat Florida State.
Whether or not they will is another matter.