It’s halftime here at Comcast, and the Maryland Terrapins are, believe it or not, up on the Florida State Seminoles 46-29. Seth Allen is giving fans and youth alike a shooting clinic, and making up for the barrage of threes Florida State served Maryland the first time around in Tallahassee. Can the Terps keep it up is the major question, given how thy really only play one good half.
1.) The Terps have come out focused
It’s been awhile, perhaps the Miami game, since the Terrapins have come out this prepared to play. That suggests to me that Mark Turgeon and the team made sure they remembered how that loss in Tallahassee felt. Maryland knew they were going to need a big effort to beat Florida State even with the Seminoles struggling, and their focus seems to be on point enough to do so.
Everyone is doing their job, and the Terps are shooting incredibly well from the floor right now. They’re moving the ball well and ensuring to mix in enough transition game (what they’re great at) with halfcourt offensive sets t get everyone involved. That starts with Dez Wells and Seth Allen distributing it evenly. So far, Wells has three assists and should probably have four.
2.) When Seth Allen is on, boy is it pretty.
Seth Allen is absolutely en fuego right now, and he’s almost outscoring the Seminoles in the first half. He’s got 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting, and is hitting from everywhere on the floor. When he’s shooting like this, Allen is one of the best guards in the ACC, to be sure.
It also tends to hide his deficiencies on the defensive end really well. Allen isn’t an amazing defender, but when his shooting isn’t streaky, it opens everything up so much. The entire team plays with a completely different aura about them when there is offensive production from the point guard position. It’s really hard to quantify, but anyone whose watched Allen get hot like this realizes it.
3.) Maryland’s got to get better on the offensive glass.
The Terrapins are shooting well, so we can temporarily ignore the fact that they’re being absolutely decimated on the offensive glass right now. Florida State has the advantage 10-1 in that regard, and they have 8 second chance points and 16 points in the paint.
Offensive rebounding is one of those battles that the Terps need to start winning right away in the second half if they want to put Florida State away entirely. Giving a team more than one opportunity to score just constantly lowers your odds of winning. That job falls on Charles Mitchell and Jonathan Graham, who have seen the brunt of the minutes at the forward positions. Of course, once Evan Smotrycz gets back into the game after sitting out much of the firs with foul trouble, he’s going to have to look out for their athleticism.