#69 R.P.I. Florida State @ #87 R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Now ask their 10th best in the A.c.c. and negative intra-league mark of 9-10 how all that post-season slotting does or does not shake out.
As these ‘noles were picked middle of the pack or about 6th or so in the A.c.c. by most pre-season magazines.
Or in other words… 11th A.c.c. seeded Florida State can nil afford an L in this one. And perhaps the same can be said of higher, 7th A.c.c. seated beloved Virginia Tech.
As Florida State does a lotta things average to good, and these 2015-2016 hooping ‘noles do nothing poorly at all. As their lowest national ranking in the 32 men’s D-1 basketball metrics that I track is a mere 242nd best (in turnovers).
Still yet, for all of Florida State’s higher scoring play; and all their stellar rookie year backcourt talent(s); there is nothing seminal here that strikes me as being unbeatable, every bit as much as there is nothing that strikes me as a sure fire Hokie win. Though who will win?
Read on to find out…
F.S.U. at a glance:
- 59thth in FG percentage O (46.4% overall)
- 67th in steals (7.1 spg)
- 71stth in Scoring O (77.5 ppg)
- 73rd in Rebounding Margin (+3.3 rpg)
- 84th in blocks (4.2 bpg)
- Soph. 6’8” 2o5 lb. reserve P/F Phil Cofer: 3.8 ppg and 2 boards, nursing a bad high ankle sprain prior to Christmas; he is said to be a solid inside substitute, finisher and rebounder that F.s.u. was looking to take a step up in production this year.
- Senior year 7’2” 292 lb. monsta sized true Center, Nigerian native, one #5o Michael Ojo is done for the duration with a left knee meniscus tear. That said, there is one report that says Ojo has made some comeback progress and that there is now a narrow chance he could get back before 2016 ends. He and his 2.6 ppg and 3 rpg and a block did dress out for the uva game. Even if that was a token move of sorts.
- May St.Phillip and the Archangel Michael bless and intercede!
F.S.U. Returning Starters=(was 4), although now 3, sans Ojo.
Florida State Strengths:
- #5, 6’5” 196 lb. rookie year lead-G Malik Beasley is very good, (already); and he is possibly a stud. As you do not breaking into the A.c.c. in your rookie season of voting, average a near team leading 15.7 ppg and a second-best 5.3 rebounds just because you suck. You really don’t. As this is one fun to watch guy on the break and off the dribble as Malik plays a fan-friendly game. I like to think of Beasley as our very own Hudson, having an “on” season as opposed to an “on” night here and there. Beasley is a slicing slasher by trade; he does have a very very serviceable J (38.5% from range), and that makes him a very very tough cover. Now mix in 82.3% on his 113 FTA’s thus far this campaign and you can see why the points are piling up in a hurry. Though what I really liked about Beasley is the fact that he plays forth year strong as a first year player. As this kid must be moving some real live weight-room Iron to be moving people off the ball on defense and taking the contact he is taking less than a full year removed from his senior prom. This kid is a Pro’ folks, only question is: “when”? (not if…) (OVERALL play since we last saw him: ↓ or down across the stat-line, not bad, just enough to objectify and detect)
- Dwayne Bacon: one of the very few all-nation ***** or five-star recruits to make his way to Tallahassee and not play football in a long long time. Yah; I’d have to say that being ranked #1 in high school hoops (as a Jr.) counts. As does being ranked the #2 scholastic Shooting-G overall last year. Hailing from the well fabled Oak Hill Academy, and standing in at 6’7” and 196 lb. t-freshman year all-everything baller. Said to already court a very diverse offensive game, and said to be a student of the same; accordingly. A now barely first best 15.8 ppg to go with the team lead in rebounding at 5.8 caroms per contest is nifty enough. Does need some shot-selection work as Mister Bacon never meet a shot he did not like… or would not take. 28.4% from beyond the arc and 45% from the floor with 7o% from the charity-stripe tells you as much. A team leading 132 FTA’s tells you this guy will penetrate and is not afraid of contact. A smooth, effortless guy, who models his game after, and wants to be like Mike (Jordan). Curiously enough, did not have that epic of a winning mark in high school and did bounce from program to program; and that to me is at least a mini-me red-flag. Still yet, he was interestingly enough, named to the academic honor roll in high school –just has a rep’ that needs to matriculate and mature a bit in the meantime. And… “so say we all.” (OVERALL play since we last saw him: ↑ or up, as Dwayne is bringing home the shooting Bacon of late, with improvements in all shooting categories –noticeably, across the board)
- The Most Exciting baller in the A.c.c. you ask? Well if you ask Lindy’s preview magazine, it is listed as none other than: Xavier Rathan-Mayes of Florida State. The 6’4” 190 lb. S/G in his (redshirt) second year is a bit off his rookie year 14.3 ppg pace, what with a now third best 11.8 ppg. And that would be off of a debut season in which he flirted with turning Pro’ early last June. Has a rep’ for setting himself and others up, scoring inside and out, although he also has the nag of lacking pure 23’9” range on his collegiate J; at a fairly vanilla looking 29.9% from distance thus far. Does need to cut back on his turnovers as well, as he tries to do too much; at least at times. Although sometimes he does do a lot, just ask his outburst scoring performances of four 30+ freak-out games last year. Has had some F.s.u.edu ills before –hence the sit-out redshirt season upon arrival (God Bless). And yet, you do not earn 1st-team preseason all-A.c.c. honors, have words like: “dynamite” and “superstar” lobbed at you just because you are a bum. His dad (Tharon) balled for the Clippers and 76ers; so you know the Hooping Genome Project is willing, as this is a talented baller in my evaluation; albeit one having a sub-par year. (OVERALL play since we last saw him: ↔ or level, not much has changed, here)
- Big ole 7’3” 242 lb. true dinosaur back-to-the-basket imported Euro center (Bratislava, Slovakia) one #15 Boris Bojanovsky is a load down low. Boris is a space-eater, who finishes up close and can defend and block shots by quite literally, just standing there. 6.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg and a program pacing 1.9 bpg on 56% shooting later, and you may not have a dominate Five on your hands, although you do have one that is no fun to play against whatsoever. Boris, at least to me, does not quite look his 240 odd listed pounds; as there is something yet to fill all the way out physically about his game. However, he is about to turn 24, and has already graduated from overseas Oakley College prior to coming to America and F.s.u. Heady baller who excels at the high pick-n-roll for dunks at the rim, and a likable Big who plays with a smile, and was also a major Hokie recruiting target five years ago. (OVERALL play since we last saw him: ↑ or up; defense, rebounding, shooting, all improved)
Florida State Weaknesses:
- health: obviously; as the ‘Noles Post depth is hurting and wanting for raw size with Ojo and Cofer down for the count.
- experience: or at least the lack thereof in this star-studded Seminole backcourt.
- defense: as nearly all of my preseason magazines praise the offense of F.s.u and bemoaned their ‘noles stop-unit prowess.
- 29 hours rest vs. about 4 days rest, you do the late game maths!
Seminole Bench: (depth=3 and change, 6’3” 193 lb. senior 2-Guard Devon Bookert gives F.s.u. a solid bench all by his Alaskan native 10 ppg self | and 6’6” 2oo lb. Fr. Swing Terance Mann plus 6’9” 229 lb. spoh. P/F Jarquez Smith nets you about 1o more ppg from the pine, or in other words, ~21 ppg, to go with ~1o rpg is no bad bench)
Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:
The takeaway here is… that this is the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s Tournament championship, where anything and everything can, and prolly will, happen.
Virginia Tech enters this one feeling absolutely no pain, streaking, and on a big Mo’ (momentum) roll; as possibly the hottest team in the A.c.c. Maybe even the one team that nobody wants to early-round play.
Florida State just blew out nearly helpless Boston College 88-66 in round #1 on Tuesday afternoon in a curb-stomping that was not even that close. This after a five game snide and then a two game win-streak to close the Seminole regular season. As you would be full-court pressed to say that Virginia Tech does not merit the recent play check-mark here.
Still yet, F.s.u. has a very nubile and a very talented backcourt in Atlantic Division tow. As he who lives by the outside shooting sword can die by the same. As you never know how distance based perimeter guys will go from game-to-game. Though I do know that they just went off with a positively solar-flare ‘esque 59% overall and 56% from range! Beasley and Bacon were both okay to nearly good in game#1, and yet the Seminole bench (45 points) was simply phenomenal! Or in other words, I’d be recalcitrant to publish that I’m counting on either trend repeating itself in A.c.c. game#2. As this was the best bench game for the ‘Noles all year. Whereas Beasley and Bacon and a one for the game afternoon from Xavier can all three play better to boot.
Coach Buzz and Virginia Tech do have the fresher legs ~ +4 in rest. They should enjoy a scouting advantage as I doubt they prepped much for entirely lowly Bee.Cee in the last 100 hours.
That being said, I’m one of the few, perhaps of the only (one), to wish we had played in round#1. An easier match-up, a greater likelihood of winning, and I did NOT wanna see peaking Virginia Tech rest-up then rust-up and cool off any, not even one iota. Because when you are playing Buster Poindexter basketball, and feeling “hot hot hot”, you wanna keep playing Buster Poindexter basketball –A.S.A.P. Feed that hot-hand; as the next game can not start soon enough!
Fortnight Defensive play however does favor Virginia Tech.
And when you crunch the aggregate numbers in terms of Marginal determinations, you find out the following two things in a hurry…
Coach Buzz and company are close to 23% better overall from 3-point land! And yet Florida State does industrialize a nearly 12 board edge in Rebounding Margin. That’s a pretty heavy metric when defense and rebounding should never ever go effort-driven Tournament cold. Whereas shooting is always open to having an off night.
Or in other words, can F.s.u. rebound and low-post their way to a win with an inexperienced albeit very talented backcourt? Or, will Virginia Tech continue it’s streaky backcourt through Wing play and employ just enough defense to win? As this one has: “close one”, written all over it. As this is a need-game for both schools post-season chances in a game I damn near called “Even” in summary in the match-up chart up above. Pretty much a fiddy-fiddy rock paper scissors flavored game. Flip a coin, and if you do not like the result flip it 2 outta 3. Only thing is …this one is one-n-done. As one teams A.c.c. season strikes 12 at midnight on Wednesday night.
Florida State has its best scoring offense on its hands since I last lived in Foxridge Apartment’s over 26 years ago. And you’d have to think they are in sync and feeling their flow after routing Boston College after so many arrows both near and far found their late Tuesday afternoon mark. Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide is predicting the narrowest 1 point Hokie victory between these two evenly matched teams.
That seems about right to me, as I have this one pegged as a single full shot (3-pointer) outcome or less, either way. As one single solitary shot will decide this one, and this one will not be decided until the very end.
(52% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech=77, Florida State=76