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Georgia Tech Basketball: Florida State Preview

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Virginia Tech Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Last Thursday the Yellow Jackets experienced a tough home loss to #2 Virginia at McCamish. They followed that up only two days later with a frustrating road loss at #10 UNC. There is no reprieve now from this tough stretch as the team heads down south to Tallahassee to take on FSU. FSU isn’t ranked by the AP Poll, but they are receiving votes so they’re knocking on the door. KenPom thinks they’re the 22nd best team in the nation. This is going to be yet another tough game for GT.

Florida State comes into this game at just 3-4 in conference. They have fallen on the road to Duke, Miami, and BC as well as at home against Louisville. They have wins at home against UNC and Syracuse and they are coming off a road win at VT. In the OOC, they only had one loss, against Oklahoma State, but they only had one win that could be considered remotely impressive, a domination of Florida on the road.

The Seminoles are good at both offense and defense, clocking in at 32nd in the country on offense and 34th on defense. Offensively they are better inside the arc than outside of it, which could be good news for the Yellow Jackets who stifle teams from short range. The offense is led by three upperclassmen, guard Terance Mann, Forward Phil Cofer, and guard Braian Angola. Mann averages 15.3 points per game and is a fantastic finisher. He is a mediocre three point shooter though, hitting only 29%. Angola averages 14.3 points per game and is a fantastic three point shooter at 44.8% this year. The bigger Cofer is also a deep threat hitting 39.4% from deep.

One thing that could be a game changer is rebounding. FSU is a fantastic offensive rebounding team which has been an issue for Tech (see the UNC game). The Yellow Jackets will need to clamp down on the boards if they want to win. On the other end of the floor, the Seminoles give up a ton of offensive rebounds, because they like to get out and run. Tech has a chance to even up FSU’s offensive boards here. It’s going to be interesting seeing who controls the tempo to this game. Tech likes to take their time and slow it down, but the Seminoles like to get out and run. Against UNC, the Tar Heels were able to dictate the pace. I would expect that to happen again in Tallahassee.

This game takes place tonight at 7 pm on the ACC Network. I predict a similar game to Tech’s loss at UNC. FSU will get enough points in transition and on second chance points to overcome Tech’s strong defense. GT will not get enough offense to overcome those issues. FSU wins 78-67.