Jan. 8, 2013
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Managing Editor
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- In Leonard Hamilton's opinion, Wednesday's game at Maryland couldn't have come at a better time.
Fresh off a win at Clemson to start his team's Atlantic Coast Conference schedule, Hamilton wants to see how his half-and-half squad -- equal parts experience and wide-eyed ACC newcomers -- will handle a taller task on the road. The Tigers have proved to be a thorn in FSU's side the last several years at Littlejohn Coliseum but it's nothing like what the 'Noles (9-5, 1-0 ACC) have faced at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md.
FSU has never beaten Maryland (13-1, 1-0) in the Comcast Center. Not helping streak-busting matters this season is that the Terps enter the 8 p.m. game on ESPN3 and the ACC Network as one of the hottest teams in the nation as winners of 13 straight.
"[Maryland is] on a roll right now but I think our team needs that type challenge," Hamilton said. "We need to be going on the road, playing in a hostile environment against a team that's hot so that we can find out what it's really like this early in the season playing in the ACC. So it can't do anything but help us; we just want to make sure we go up and win the game while we are learning."
Florida State struggled mightily with Florida's size and depth in a blowout loss last month and a similar situation awaits them just outside the nation's capitol.
Maryland boasts a potential top-five NBA draft pick in 7-1 center Alex Len, an experienced and proven ball handler in point guard in Pe'Shon Howard and a transfer from Xavier in Dez Wells that is second on the team in scoring after 14 contests. The Terps also have an impressive group of freshmen.
The Terrapins currently lead the league in rebounds per game.
"They are just loaded; they are two-deep at every position," Hamilton said. "But here again, that's life in the ACC. I can't think of a better venue for us to be in. A place where we have not won, a team that's hot, a very hostile environment, that's loaded with talent, that's as deep or deeper than we are with the right blend of experienced players and talented players so that's really going to give us an idea of what it's really like in the ACC."
For FSU, a win Wednesday would give the team its first 2-0 start in the ACC in program history.