On Thursday, the Florida State Seminoles will take on the 10th-ranked Virginia Commonwealth Rams in a rematch of their 2011 Sweet 16 classic. On that day, the Rams upended the Seminoles 72-71 in overtime.
The Rams have started off the season strong at 3-0. They took down the 25th-ranked Virginia Cavalier 59-56 back on November 12. The Seminoles have also started the season 3-0, but haven’t been tested like the Rams were against Virginia.
The Rams have been led by junior guard Treveon Graham, who is averaging 16.3 points per game on an effective field goal percentage of 52.9%.
On a whole, the Rams are posting an effective field goal percentage of 52.5%, but that was inflated during a 96-58 November 8 victory over Illinois State, in which they posted an effective field goal percentage of 62.3%.
The Rams’ defense on the other hand, is holding opponents .81 points per possession on 43.0% effective field goals.
The Seminoles’ offense, although yet to face a real test defensively, has been very good, but still has an issue with turnovers.
Okaro White (16.0 ppg), Ian Miller (15.3 ppg), Devon Bookert (15.3 ppg) and Aaron Thomas (12.7 ppg) are all averaging in double figures and all four are shooting at least 53.3% from the field.
One way the Seminoles can exploit the Rams defense is by getting to the free throw line. The Rams allowed Virginia to post a free throw rate of 71.7%. Virginia got to the line 33 times, but hit just 19 of those free throws. The Seminoles have a free throw rate of 59.8% and in their biggest test of the season, an 80-68 victory over UCF, they got to the line 31 times.
The Seminoles’ defense looks more like the squads Leonard Hamilton put out before last season, holding opponents to .84 points per possession and an effective field goal percentage of just 43.0%.
Former Florida State forward Terrance Shannon is averaging 7.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 17.7 minutes per game for the Rams.
The winner of this game will take on the winner of the Long Beach State-Michigan game. The other first round matchups are Charlotte vs. Kansas State and Northeastern vs. Georgetown.
Here’s all the information you’ll need to take in the action between the Seminoles and Rams.
Date: November 21
Tip-off Time: 7:30 pm ET
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Arena: Coliseo de Puerto Rico
TV Info: ESPNU
Live Stream: WatchESPN app