- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sean Mosley is through half of his first college regular season.

On Wednesday night, the freshman will step into BankUnited Center and finally play his first true road game.

Mosley and Maryland (12-3, 1-0 ACC) visit Miami (12-3, 1-1) in what could be a telling game for both teams. It’s also the first road game of the year for the Terrapins, who are the last Division I team in the country to play on an opponent’s floor this season.

“I’ve never gone into a game worried about where I’m playing or anything like that,” coach Gary Williams said. “I worry about the other team. I think that’s important thing for our players, is to worry about Miami.”

The absence of a true road game to date is something of a scheduling quirk. Maryland has alternated home and road games in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and was supposed to make an early December trip, but instead the Terps were granted a date at Comcast Center with Michigan.

Instead, 15 games went by without an actual road game. Not that such a wait is unprecedented with the program. Maryland’s first road game in 2005-06 (Jan. 7 at Miami) and last season (Jan. 5 at Charlotte) both landed after New Year’s.

The Terps have played four games outside of Comcast Center - an arena where the patrons weren’t unified behind guard Greivis Vasquez in Saturday’s game, prompting the junior to curse the crowd and draw a private lecture from Williams - so there is something to draw on from this season.

Maryland met George Washington in December’s BB&T; Classic at Verizon Center in front of a half-capacity crowd that probably slightly favored the Terps. They also played Michigan State, Gonzaga and Georgetown in the Old Spice Classic over Thanksgiving weekend.

“The Michigan State game down in Orlando, [Fla.,] it was all Michigan State fans so it felt like a road game, but it really wasn’t,” guard Eric Hayes said. “We’re used to being on the road from past years, so I don’t think it’ll be too big of a problem.”

Interestingly, the Terps will play in two of the ACC’s least raucous venues during its Florida swing this week. Miami, which reached the second round of the NCAA tournament last year and was ranked in the preseason, has averaged 3,578 fans in nine home dates. Florida State, Maryland’s opponent Saturday, normally does not draw well for most games.

Despite those atypical venues, a significant challenge awaits Maryland at Miami.

“I’ve always felt what makes the road tough is if you play a good team,” said Williams, whose team managed even splits of its ACC road games in both of the last two seasons. “Not playing on the road.”

This trip won’t be as arduous as it could be. The Terps will remain in Florida until the weekend, staying in Miami before flying to Florida State on Friday to maintain the usual day-before-a-game travel.

It also gets Maryland away from a barren campus in the middle of semester break, ensuring the first road trip is welcome even if it comes late in the schedule.

“We just need to get away for a minute,” Mosley said. “It’s not a vacation but something where we have to go down there and handle business.”

Doing so would provide the Terps with a valuable asset. Plenty of other significant programs have a road victory or two while trying to bolster their postseason resumes.

“Playing Michigan State, Gonzaga and Georgetown, wherever those games are played are tough games,” Williams said. “We’ve played good teams. That’s the important thing. We have played teams at Miami’s level before.”

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