COLLEGE PARK — - An Atlantic Coast Conference basketball official said Monday that the league is trying to avoid putting teams in the situation that Maryland now finds itself - playing two ACC games in three days.
The Terrapins (10-4, 1-0 ACC) are one of three schools in the conference this season to play a league home game followed by a road contest two days later. The road game is tonight at Wake Forest (11-3, 1-1).
Miami and No. 7 Duke are the other schools facing two games in three days this year with the second contest on the road.
"Coaches don't like to have the turnaround games," Karl Hicks, the ACC's associate commissioner for men's basketball, said in an interview. "We work hard to try to minimize them. They are unavoidable." Hicks said scheduling is challenging because of the demands of television, the availability of arenas and other factors.
Maryland coach Gary Williams, replying to a media question last weekend, said he was unhappy that the Terps were the only ACC team to open their conference schedule with such a quick turnaround. "The thing you want is a level playing field," Williams said.
Duke's short turnaround comes when it plays at Boston College two days after hosting No. 18 Georgia Tech early next month. Miami hosts Virginia Tech on Jan. 31 before playing at Wake Forest on Feb. 2.
Not only does Wake Forest not have a quick turnaround itself, but it also benefits twice by teams coming to Winston-Salem, N.C., with abbreviated rest.
Hicks said it might be easier on the Terps and other teams to handle the compressed schedule while it is still early in the season. "It's good to have them early before your teams are worn down," he said.
Hicks also noted that Maryland is on academic break. Spring semester classes don't begin until Jan. 26, although players typically take a class during winter session.
Winter session began Jan. 5.
Maryland beat Florida State, 77-68, on Sunday night at Comcast Center. The Terps practiced early Monday afternoon, then boarded a plane and planned to spend the night near Wake Forest's campus.
"We're trying to catch up with Wake Forest," Williams said Monday.
Although Williams wants his players to have ample rest and preparation, he said playing with little down time is part of the game - particularly in the postseason.
"If you ever want to be able to get to the Sweet 16, you have to be able to handle this situation," the coach said.
Florida State, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech also have two ACC games in three days this season, but each plays the second contest at home.
Florida State finds itself in that situation twice. The Seminoles played a compressed nonconference schedule - including a November stretch of five games in nine days - that helped prepare them for what lay ahead, said athletics spokesman Chuck Walsh.