Virginia Tech Florida State basketball preview

#65 R.P.I. Florida State @ #12o R.P.I. Virginia Tech:

Florida State is a pretty decent Atlantic Coast men’s hoops team.FSU hoops logo
Just ask their now officially fighting for post-season birthing overall tally of 16 up and 10 down.

Now ask their 10th best in the A.c.c. and negative intra-league mark of 6-8 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… Florida State can nil afford an L in this one.

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, inside our very own Cassell.

F.S.U. at a glance:

  • 56th in steals (7.4 spg)
  • 66th in Scoring O (78.8 ppg)
  • 67th in FG percentage O (46.3% overall)
  • 94th in blocks (4.1 bpg)
  • 1o2nd in Rebounding Margin (+2.5 rpg)
  • injuries=2

    Ojo's dojo!
    Ojo’s dojo!
  • 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:

  • 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 team leading 16.5 ppg and a second-best 5.4 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 (39.8% from range), and that makes him a very very tough cover. Now mix in 82.5% on his 1o2 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…)

    **** for hoops!
    **** for hoops!
  • 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 second best 15.5 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. 25% from beyond the arc and 43% from the floor with 68% from the charity-stripe tells you as much. 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.”
  • 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 11.3 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 29.3% 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 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.

    No word yet if he spys on: Natasha Fatale. ; )
    No word yet if he spys on: Natasha Fatale. ; )
  • 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, 4.2 rpg and a program pacing 1.7 bpg on 54% 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.

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.

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 9 more ppg from the pine, or in other words, ~20 ppg, to go with ~9 rpg is no bad bench)

fsu match ups 2016 hoops

Winning this basketball game is gonna be code for what?

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Illation, conclusion (s) and OPT digits:

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… that Virginia Tech is only a 3 point underdog out on the Vegas big board and I have to confess, this surprises me.

474-392, overall...
474392, overall…

As Florida State ‘caps somewhere in between Clemson and Miami, albeit closer to Miami thanks to a more combustible offense.

F.s.u. is however only 4-5 on the road this season. Incoming rest is the same for this one; although the ‘noles do bring a unattractive 3-game L streak in tow. And right there is where the prettier side of this preview ends; as the five game offensive  spits are pretty damning indeed. As in, very.

In each teams’ most recent five contests, the Seminoles average: 19.2 ppg more, 10.2% better shooting overall and 3.4% better shooting from distance. That is quite a Garnet and Gold offensive  punch that the O&M is lacking. On the other hand, and least you fret too much… Virginia Tech is defending much better than Florida State has of late. As coach Buzz and company are: 7 ppg better in scoring defense allowed, 3.8% better in FG percentage allowed, and 9.6% better in 3-point percentage allowed. See what I mean? Do you side with the better offensive or defensive team in this one? As there are two competing betters, here; and yet only one better can win.


Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide sheds some light… according to the Forum-Guide of Graham Houston fame, Florida State should win by about 6.6o points in this one.

Or in other words, I lean Florida State here, although I do not love Florida State here; I’m not even sure I like Florida State (to win), here. As this is one of those 5-10% of the time previews where I never ever found my objectivity peg upon which to hang my OPT digit hat.

In lieu of anything else, I’ll go with the deeper bench and the stronger backcourt, as neither team has a true frontcourt stud. Although this one has the look and feel of a toss-up, maybe even extra innings to boot.


(55% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=69, Florida State=71 (1 overtime)