Brendon Mulvihill is an RTC contributor. You can find him @themulv on Twitter. See bottom of the post for the Official RTC Star System.
Thanksgiving is for food, family, and football. But around these parts, we like to throw a big heaping pile of college hoops on our plate also. Keep an eye on these games as you sit around the table with your loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving from RTC!
#19 Florida State vs. Massachusetts – 4:30PM EST on Versus (**)
- Florida State’s defense is picking-up right where it left off last season. While the Seminoles have not played any offensive juggernauts to this point in the season, they are still holding teams to an impossibly low .86 points per possession (adjusted). Keep an eye on the perimeter defense, as FSU’s set of 6’5” guards, Michael Snaer and Delvidas Dulkys, will likely have to deal with UMass’s 5’11” point guard Chaz Williams. Williams is currently lighting things up at 17 points per game and hitting 42% of his three-point shots. Watch how the length of Snaer and Dulkys affects Williams’ shot throughout the night.
- Not to be outdone, Massachusetts brings its own set of defensive credentials into this game, ranking in the top ten in both block rate and turnover rate. Florida State has had trouble with turning the ball over this season. Since scoring will be difficult against the Seminoles, Derek Kellogg’s team needs to figure out a way to continue to create turnovers to give his offense more opportunities to score. They have to do this without fouling, however. Teams are getting to the line frequently against UMass (50% FT rate). The Seminole offense thrives on free throws. If you see FSU in the bonus early in either half, you know things are not going well for Massachusetts.
- This game is shaping up to be a defensive battle. The game will hinge on UMass’s ability to deal with the ‘Noles length in the front court. Williams needs to figure out a way to get his shot off on offense and defend players much larger than him. Again, if he and the rest of the Minutemen can create steals without fouling, they have a shot in this game. However, if FSU plays their usual lights out defense and continue to shoot the ball well, they will win.