COLLEGE PARK - Mark Turgeon isn't thinking about long-range outlooks or NCAA Tournament projections at this point.
His Maryland basketball team has been through so many ups and downs already this season that he's just trying to focus on the game at hand - today's home matchup against Florida State. Today's game is part of a particularly taxing stretch for the Terrapins that includes five games in 13 days.
"I just know that in the league we're 5-5, which is not ideal," Turgeon said after Friday's practice. "But it's better than being 3-7. We just want to try to win [Saturday]. That's really what we try to think about. I know it sounds cliche and all that, but you really don't have much time to think about anything else when you're playing so many games.
"We do have a lot of teams on the schedule that have a number [ranking] in front of their name. It gives you an opportunity to play good teams. But we just want to play well [Saturday] and figure out a way to win."
To do that against the Seminoles, Maryland will have to play a lot better than it did in the first meeting between the two teams, an 85-61 Florida State victory in Tallahassee on Jan. 12.
"We've got to play a lot better," Turgeon said. "We were not very good and they were terrific with 16 [3-pointers]. Our transition defense and shot selection has to be a lot better."
Those same problems plagued the Terrapins their last time out in a 75-63 loss at North Carolina on Tuesday night. Maryland failed to adjust to North Carolina's speed at the outset, fell behind 19-3, and were never able to catch up. The Terrapins cut the deficit to a couple of possessions several times, but were unable to come all the way back, largely because they shot just 39 percent from the floor, a consequence of too many ill-advised shots.
Point guard Seth Allen was perhaps the worst offender against the Tar Heels. In 29 minutes, he took a team-high 13 shots and made only four of them. Worse yet, 10 of those attempts came from 3-point range and Allen converted just three of those.
Allen has played in just 11 games this season after suffering a broken foot in preseason practice. He has shown flashes of his old quickness and scoring ability, but still has a ways to go to recapture the form he showed in preseason practices.
"He settled for too many jump shots," Turgeon said. "Seth's quick enough to get by people. What you ask out of your players is to be more consistent. It might be March before that happens for Seth. He missed a lot, and in a crucial part of the season.
"Seth's a little bit inconsistent and he knows that. Whether it's his jumper or his defense or his decision-making. He's got a lot on his plate."
Allen said: "It's been a rollercoaster, emotionally and physically. I keep pushing on and trying to do the best I can every day."
Unless Allen and his teammates can execute better, they're not likely to shoot much better against Florida State, which leads in the Atlantic Coast Conference in field-goal percentage defense (.377). The Seminoles led the nation in that category in 2010 and 2011 under defensive-minded head coach Leonard Hamilton.
"You've got to make jump shots," Turgeon said. "They're gonna protect the rim pretty well. They're a good team, but I'd like to think we're a little better than the last time we played them."
NOTES: Florida State has won four straight against Maryland and is 7-0 against Mark Turgeon at the various stops he has made in his coaching career (Wichita State, Texas A&M, Maryland) ... Maryland's Monday night game at Virginia has been moved to a 9 p.m. start.