ACC Game On: 01.18.12 EditionPosted by KCarpenter on January 18th, 2012
Florida State‘s 14 point win over Maryland is impressive because of how little it fits the template of how Florida State has played this past season. The Seminoles allowed the Terrapins to shoot 50% from the field while “only” managing 47.5% for themselves, yet still come away with the decisive win.
Leonard Hamilton‘s team won this game by doing two things that they have struggled to do in the early going: prevent offensive rebounds and win the turnover battle. Maryland managed only seven offensive rebounds despite excelling in this category for most of the season. The Terrapins also turned the possession over a total of 15 times, which isn’t exactly unexpected for a team that has struggled with ball control all season. The small surprise is Florida State’s surprisingly low nine turnovers. Granted, Maryland’s light ball pressure defense deserves a lot of the credit for that, but the win is still impressive for the statement it sends: Florida State won by overcoming its weaknesses. If the Seminoles ever manage to control their weaknesses while flexing their strengths to their fullest potential, the ACC is in trouble.
The Disappointment Bowl
- Clemson at Miami at 7:00 PM on ESPN3.com
No matter how this game turns out, the combined ACC wins of Clemson and Miami will double after the final buzzer sounds, a sad statement on two teams that I thought would be ready to go dancing in March. Clemson’s single win comes from a surprising drubbing of Florida State, which was then bizarrely followed by a loss to Boston College, though the subsequent loss to Duke is a little more understandable. Miami comes into this game without a single conference win, but considering that their schedule started with Virginia and North Carolina on the road, the lack of a win is much less surprising. In any case, neither team has managed to come together quite like it should, but with Miami slowly but steadily coming together, I like them to get the win in their home opener. Reggie Johnson is still playing his way back to where he was last season and Malcolm Grant has been in as bad a shooting slump as he’s ever been in his career, but newcomers Kenny Kadji and Shane Larkin add an extra dimension to a team that is bursting with potential.