#87 R.P.I. Florida State @ #39 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Florida State basketball, the Virginia Tech football of men’s hoops!
EPIC, and I do mean epic, stiffening and suffocation defense. Think Bud Ice in one of Coach Foster’s top-3 years. I’ma gonna go ahead and say it, points will be at a premium in this one folks –just look at the at a glance metrics below.
That said, this is something of an underachieving F.S.U. hoops team at 9 up and 6 down on the season. 3 games above .5oo is underachieving, at least when you gloss over the pre-season raga and see that most had F.S.U. picked third in the A.c.c. and likewise had tabbed F.S.U. as the team that U.N.C. and Duke did not wanna draw as a semi-finalist in the A.c.c. tourney on March 10th.
Of those 6 L’s, 4 are rather forgivable big-name schools that would give anybody a fit, a snit and a tiff. However, getting beat by Ivy League Princeton by 2 points in trip’ OT down in Tallahassee is a problem and getting pumped by middleocore Klempson by 20 at home the last time out is what I consider to be a trend. Something is ‘rong here, and it goes beyond Terrance Shannon, a long athletic and highly defensive Forward who also gives you 9 points per game being out for the year (shoulder).
Let’s cue Dr. Glanville and his chess-set for some chemistry 1o1.
Florida State at a glance:
- 5th best in defensive FG% allowed (36.4%)
- 7th best in blocked shots (6.6)
- 10th best in defensive 3-point% allowed (27.1%)
- 12th best in offensive rebounding
- 28th best in steals (8.8)
- 295th best in 3-point% (30.1%)
Florida State backcourt:
Senior year Luke Loucks, who stands in a 6`5“ and goes 201 lbs. on the Toledo’s leads F.S.U. in assists with 3.8 is third in steals (1.3) and gets you 7 points per game the hard-way, despite rather limited shooting range for a point-guard. As anomalous statistical quirks go, I give you the fact that Luke is the most experienced Guard in the entire A.c.c. with 116 total career games played. Pitching in in the ‘Nole backcourt is Jeff Peterson, a 6` 192 lb. senior year baller with no jersey number in the Lindy’s pre-season guide thanks to having been a Larry Brown ‘esque playing vagabond who has nomadically transferred from Iowa, to Arkansas and now to Florida State. This itinerant Guard has a reputation for shooting the rock well despite his 39% start to the season from the floor and his 25% range from beyond the arc this campaign. Jeff has shot has high as 39% from 3-point land since he broke in as a freshman way back in 2007. Right now Jeff nets you 4 points and is second in assists with 2.5 and not much else thus far in his sixth year of D-1 basketball. #30 Ian Miller is back and in just four games the 6`3“ 183 lb. super-sophomore is already leading the Seminoles in scoring at 13.8 points per game after suffering the always uncomfortable “groan” I mean groin-injury earlier this year. Miller is a pure scorer who had a prolific high school career doing just that, putting the biscuit in the basket. Penetration and mid-range are the names of his game and he has been a real shot in the arm boost to an otherwise borderline anemic F.S.U. backcourt since his return. Terry Whisnatt II rounds out the ‘Nole’s backcourt rotation at 6`3“ and 174 lbs. worth of pure if not wire looking shooting-Guard. Terry is the best pure shooter on the Seminole roster this season in spite of only being third best from downtown thus far (31%). Terry gets you 4 points and a couple of assists as a sub off the bench (along with Miller).
Florida State frontcourt:
Leading the way up-front would be #5, 6`10“ 240 lb. senior year Air Force Staff Sergeant of a late bloomer and 27 year old Bernard James. James is a legit power-forward who leads F.S.U. in rebounding at 8.7, at shot-blocking at 2.4 and nets virtually 10 points on a team best 58% from the floor. He is also what has been described as a “human pogo-stick” by Lindy’s magazine due to his bounty of bountiful dunks and put-backs at point-blank range. Although it should be noted that his shooting is actually down by nearly 8% from the floor even if his points and boards are both marginally elevated this season. Xavier Gibson is a F-C frontcourt combo who is likewise large and in charge at 6`11“ 248 lbs. outta Dothan Alabama. Xavier has more of a defensive reputation as a shot-blocker and low-post man-to-man stopper or defending savant. X does get you 8 points, 6 boards a couple of blocks and a steal; which is not bad A.c.c. work from a true big-body if you can get it. Helping out down-low is Michael Snaer, the Seminoles top returning scorer from a year ago who is now something of a 6`5“ 200 lb. junior year Swing with a play-making nose for the ball as his 13.2 points per game and 4 boards and change suggest. Snaer is a good all around player who can slide back into the 2-guard role if need be making him one of the more versatile ‘Nole’s this season. The Seminole frontcourt is a little thinner no thanks to the injury to Terrance Shannon (see above + a knee injury). His 8 points, 4 rebounds and stellar defensive prowess would be missed by any front-line. Chipping in during Mr. Shannon’s absence is Okaro White, a 6`8“ 204 lb. leaner sophomore power-forward who gets you 7 and 5 per nite off the Seminole bench. Okaro has yet to live up to his scoring hype, though most believe that this is a kid with a very high production based ceiling.
Jon Kreft is a bona-fide 7` 262 lb. lumbering true-Center senior season Pivot monster for Coach Lenoard Hamilton at Florida State. Kreft is a Chipola Community College juco transfer who gets you 4 points, 3 boards and a block off the Seminole pine in frontcourt relief. So as you can see this is a vertically gifted F.S.U. frontline that clearly is the strength of the 2011-2012 Seminole basketball team this side of Ian Miller at Guard.
Conclusion(s), illation, prediction:
Virginia Tech has been capped by 58 points in three of the last four games vs. Florida State. Likewise, F.S.U. is shooting a chilly 25% from 3-point-land and 66% from the charity-stripe in their last 5 games. “Winter is coming” indeed, because if offense is your thing you might want to look somewhere else than this one as Seth and company are 43rd best in defensive FG% allowed (39.2%) and a vice-like third best in 3-point% allowed (25.6%) in their own right. Ergo, this one could very well be played in the 60’s, or maybe even the 50’s as Florida State is only good for 57 points on 38% shooting this season out on the road.
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VT on the other hand is a little better at home, albeit it more so on defense than on offense. As the Hokies only allow 36.7% of opposing shots to tickle the twine from the floor inside the Cassell and a paltry 21.9% to find the net from 20.75`.
Now mix in a (nearly) student-free spacious Cassell Coliseium the day after the national championship football game and you likely have one sleepy if not outright un-enthralled game on your hands in offensive terms. This one could very well be a race to 60, maybe even to 50, first one there, wins.
Right now F.S.U. just does not look like a very cohesive hoops unit, nor does this look like a basketball team that is playing very good ball at this very moment. VT is shooting better and rebounding better this year and that should help, all the more so at home. However, don’t die of O&M shock if F.S.U. turns this one into a game that is short on sexxy and long on physicality both down-low and out on the perimeter. As I doubt the ‘Noles have the raw offensive firepower to win a pretty game, though they do have the defense, the length, and the size to steal an ugly one.
That tells me that the few serviceable VT bigs (Davila and Raines in very particular) must stay outta foul-trouble for the duration. If that happens I like VT to win by a handful of points, if not I like F.S.U. to win pretty much by the same.
Virginia Tech=63, Florida State=59