After starting the season on the road, the Noles hope to continue their success at home with their first game at the Tucker Center against the Stetson Hatters of the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Noles have gone 2-0 to start the season, playing two close games with Jacksonville and La Salle.
The Noles have an excellent history against Stetson, controlling a 13 game winning streak starting in 1975 and haven't lost at home to the Hatters since 1953. (Yikes) We beat them 72-59 at home last year, with Mims and Douglas putting up 16 points each.
Look for Singleton and Reid to start at the forwards, Alabi at Center and Demercy and Douglas at the guards. Demercy, a sophomore, is coming off one of his best games a a Nole, helping to seal the victory against La Salle with a ferocious final few minutes. The Noles can also look forward to the return of Echefu to the line up after recovering from off season knee surgery.
Stetson is 1-1 this season, losing 68-38 to Texas in their season opener and squeezing past Bethune-Cookman 64-58. Stetson has been using a 3 guard line-up and will likely have the following line up for the FSU game- Kris Thomas (6'2" 170 Sr), Garfield Blair (6'5" 215 Sr) and AJ Smith (6'0" 180 Jr) at the Guards, Tim Lang (6'9" 250 Sr) at Center and Sheldon Oliver (6'5" 218 Jr) at the forward. They are an experienced team that prides themselves on defense, at least that's what they say about how they survived conference play last year. Lets see if the Noles can minimize their turnovers in this one.
This year the Noles have been aggressive and have been drawing fouls, getting teams into foul trouble early. However, they are not connecting from line as they have in previous years, shooting only 64% from the stripe, down from 77% on the season. Despite shooting a reasonable 43% from the floor, the Noles are holding opponents to brutal 34% from the floor, thanks to the defense of Toney Douglas and crew. One would think that the point differential in our wins would be significantly greater than it is (+3 total), but the Noles have been sloppy at times, or should I say often. The Noles are averaging 18.5 turnovers per game and only causing 12, with a delightful 0.6 assist to turn over ratio...Unfortunately I can't tell you how many points those turnovers have led to. But I hope you can see, the turnovers are likely what is keeping our opponents in the game.
Anyway...I hope this is a nice palate cleanser before tomorrow nights game. The game will be televised on FSN-FL.