Kuiper’s Three-Pointer: Maryland-FSU

College coaching consultant Denny Kuiper breaks down Maryland’s 83-72 win over Florida State.

This was a big game for both teams in their push to get an NCAA tournament bid.  Maryland took a step forward, while Florida State continues to struggle.  Obviously Maryland’s point Seth Allen was the difference in the game, scoring a game and career high 32 points. 

While both teams played hard, neither was overly efficient.  In the Terps’ case that can be attributed to their youth, and in the Seminoles’ case, I think they are just playing out of sync.  Ian Miller being out with an ankle injury did not help FSU’s cause.

Let’s go to the three pointers to take a look at Allen’s outstanding game and why the Seminoles are reeling.

1. Seth Allen

Allen demonstrated his talents in shooting 11-of-15 from the floor and 7-of-10 from beyond the arc.  Even more impressively, he only had one turnover.  Even though Allen scored 21 of his 32 points in the first half, I was more impressed with his second half effort.

In the second half Allen got his teammates involved and controlled the game on the offensive end.  He is very talented and not a typical point guard because he has a scoring mentality. Sometimes having a scoring point guard can be difficult to coach because you want him to run the team and get others involved in the offense.

But with Allen you have to allow him to use his offensive skills. On Saturday, Allen was outstanding in combining his offensive skills with his point guard skills. He has not done that so far this year, but Saturday was a big step improving in that area of the game. Remember, Allen is only a sophomore and missed much of the non-conference schedule due to injury.

2. What’s Wrong With The Seminoles?

What is wrong with the Seminoles?  If you are Leonard Hamilton it is important to remember things are never as bad as you think they are. But having said that, the Seminoles are not playing well. In Saturday’s game they seemed a little selfish on the offensive end and did not help their teammates get shots.  Also, they seem to be a typical FSU team in that they do not have an outstanding point guard.

What was really surprising about the Noles against Maryland was their lack of ability to finish at the basket.  They had 20 offensive rebounds, but missed point blank shots at the basket.  You have to give some credit to Maryland’s inside defenders for the missed shots, but  also the Seminoles seemed to rush and shied away from contact in attempting their inside shots. 

3. Maryland’s 9-0 Run To End The First Half

Most games are won because one team got a couple of runs that gave it the cushion it needed to win the game. In Saturday’s game, that happened in the last two minutes of the first half, with the Terps making three straight three-pointers to close out the half. The Noles had cut the lead to 8, but went into the locker room at half down 17. That is a huge difference.

What really had to be discouraging for the Noles and Hamilton was that Florida State switched to a zone the last four minutes of the half.  The Terps made two of those threes against the zone. FSU is known for its man-to-man defense, but elected to play zone during that stretch. This time it did not work.