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January 16, 2012
Focus key as FSU moves on from UNC victory
Florida State guard Michael Snaer is trying his hardest to move on from a big win. Considering the magnitude - and the fashion - of the Seminoles' drubbing of No. 3 North Carolina on Saturday, a hangover of euphoria is understandable.
But the Seminoles will have to clear the deck and leave the signature win in the past as conference play continues with Maryland (12-4, 2-1 ACC) coming to town on Tuesday night. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. ET.
"It really is (tough to move on)," Snaer said. "It was a fun weekend, a lot of people were at the game and everyone is telling you how great of a job you did. But we can't feel like we've arrived because we had this game and everybody is making it seem like it's the national championship game or something. We just got to get back focused, and I think we're doing a good job with it."
Head coach Leonard Hamilton and his coaching staff have done a good job with getting his team focused after a big victory. The Seminoles (11-6, 2-1 ACC) are 4-1 following wins over top 10 teams since 2006.
"Getting kids focused to play the way they played on Saturday is a challenge night in, night out," FSU assistant coach Stan Jones said. "What Coach Hamilton has always been good at is that he tries to approach every game the same and not give just some huge 'We've got to win' Knute Rockne deal. We try to give the same preparation."
Jones said that the quick Saturday-Tuesday turnaround actually helped the Seminoles get focused on Maryland; after Saturday's win, the team had no day off and was back to practice on Sunday.
"I think the best thing that's happening for us is that we didn't have a day off on Sunday and we've got to turn around and play on Tuesday," Jones said. "We came in and we're right back to getting into Maryland, right back on the court. We're not sitting around with a whole day off with everyone patting them on the back and treating them as celebrities. Hopefully that's an advantage."
"Sometimes, you don't like for it to happen, but the loss we took at Clemson, sometimes really brings people closer together. Adversity is not all negative sometimes if it's early enough in the season," FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. "Even though we played very well the last two games, we haven't been telling them anything different."
Now the focus shifts to the Terrapins and standout guard Terrell Stoglin, who is sixth in the nation in scoring at 20.9 points per contest. Headed up by coach Mark Turgeon - who faced FSU in the NCAA Tournament last season as coach at Texas A&M - Maryland has won nine of its last 10 games and is 2-1 in ACC play.
It's a game Florida State is expecting to win - so long as the focus is there.
"We understand that we have a great opportunity here to stay in the top one third of the league and we can't take it lightly," Snaer said. "We can't waste it, that's pretty much what would happen if we lose this game (Tuesday), we would waste a good win."