Here is a preview for FSU basketball and their next game of the 2017 season, a road bout against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
The stretch of six games against ranked opponents now in the rear-view, FSU basketball moves on to their next challenge. And that comes in the form of three straight conference road games. The trip begins in Atlanta on Wednesday, against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech is the lowest ranked team on KenPom that the Seminoles have faced since before conference play began. Regardless, ACC road games are never easy, and this one surely won’t be.
The Seminoles are currently 18-2, and 6-1 in the ACC. That puts them at the top of the standings, along with the UNC Tar Heels and the ND Fighting Irish. However, both of those teams have far tougher schedules remaining, meaning that FSU may legitimately have a shot at taking the regular season ACC title.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s take it one game at a time, and preview the teams’ upcoming road bout against Georgia Tech.
The Last Time the ‘Noles Took the Court
Florida State hosted the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday, in an ACC matchup with huge stakes. The Cardinals arrived in Tallahassee without their starting point guard, Quentin Snider. That didn’t hurt them in their previous game, though — a 32-point demolition of the Clemson Tigers. So they were certainly confident they could pull out a win against Florida State too.
The game was one of the ugliest of the season due to Louisville’s defense, which is considered one of the best in the country. Both teams shot under 40 percent, struggled from the free-throw line, and from three. But still, behind efficient performances from Jonathan Isaac and Terrance Mann, FSU was able to pull out the win. Isaac scored 16 points on seven shot attempts, and Mann had 15 points, three rebounds, and two blocks. Excellent performances from those two, and another important victory for the Seminoles.
Up next for the Seminoles is Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are currently ranked 99th-overall on KenPom, with the 215th offense, and 35th defense. Their offense is flat-out bad, scoring 0.98 points-per-possession (304th in the country) and 67 points per game (312th).
They play a pace similar to Louisville, and will do their best to muddy up the game against Florida State. The Seminoles have to force their tempo, and get GT out of their comfort zone, because their defense is definitely respectable.
On average, the Yellow Jackets give up more rebounds than they secure, meaning that FSU should be able to get themselves extra possessions, and possibly easy points through put-backs.
The main players that FSU basketball fans have to know about are guard Josh Okogie and center Ben Lammers. Okogie is averaging almost 15 points per game, to go with four rebounds and 1.5 assists. He’s just a decent three-point shooter at 37 percent, and he prefers to make his living near the rim.
Lammers, on the other hand, is a 6-foot-10 center, who is one of the best shot-blockers in the country. He’s blocking an absurd 3.4 shots per contest, while holding solid averages of 15 points and 10 rebounds. He also shoots 80 percent from the foul line, so he’s the total package. Michael Ojo, Jarquez Smith and Christ Koumadje will have their work cut out for them. (What a luxury to have three centers you can trust to play big minutes on one roster.)
Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams recently raved about Lammers, after a game between the two ACC foes.
Won’t be an easy player to go up against, but at least Florida State has the depth to make life difficult for him.
Point Spread/How to Watch
According to Odds Shark, the Seminoles are an -8 point favorite in this matchup. It should be noted that the Tar Heels were favored by a similar amount on the road at Georgia Tech, and lost by double digits. Nothing is ever simple in the ACC.
You can watch this game on the ACC Network (aka streaming through WatchESPN), or through your local Fox Sports channel if you’re in the area. Hopefully next time we talk, we can discuss yet another ACC win for FSU basketball. Go ‘Noles!