FSU Basketball: Three Keys to Beating the Virginia Tech Hokies
The Hokies are a really good team. Coached by Buzz Williams (formerly of Marquette), they started the year off 12-1. After blowing out Duke in Blacksburg, the Hokies came into this week ranked 21st in the country. Sadly, their next game — a trip to Raleigh to face NC State — did not go as well. They got blown out 104-78.
KenPom ranks VT as the 40th-best team in the country. (For comparison’s sake, Wake Forest is ranked 45th.) The Hokies are 41st overall in offensive efficiency, and 58th defensively. They’re not especially great in either area, but rather solid overall.
The three main keys to Florida State keeping this winning streak going are as follows:
- Maintain the defensive effort.
- FSU has seen a huge turnaround defensively as the season has gone on. It’s not just that the young guys are getting it, but also that the older players are buying in.
- After four straight years of having defenses ranked by KenPom in the 50’s (or much lower), this year’s unit is 33rd overall. And that number has been steadily climbing.
- If they can keep up the intensity against the Hokies, they should have no problem slowing their offense down
- Get Jonathan Isaac going again.
- Isaac clearly hasn’t been the same since returning from the hip pointer.
- Bacon and Xavier Rathan-Mayes have stepped it up in his wake, but FSU needs Isaac to give them more on offense.
- The Seminoles need Isaac to help XRM and Bacon out if they want their offense to get back to a top-15 level.
- The bench needs to keep giving the team a spark.
- The ‘Noles depth has been the key to their season’s success thus far. Bacon and XRM playing less minutes keeps them fresh later in games, which helps them hit big shots or extend runs.
- The bench, led by CJ Walker and Trent Forrest, turn up the defense and get the team easy baskets in transition. They’ve consistently been the spark plug for the team.