Editor's Note: Sorry for the short preview, work has been consuming and this is all I have time for. Sorry it's up so late as well.
Mirroring the ACC regular season, the ACC tournament has already featured a number of upsets: NC State over Clemson, Miami getting two wins and Virginia snapping its losing streak. Tonight, the Seminoles have the opportunity to make up for a serious black mark on their conference schedule. NC State is 4-1 in their last five games including wins over Wake and Clemson. They are playing much better than they had in the middle of conference play. They are happy to play a down temp style of game and play great defense. Like the Seminoles, the Wolfpack's defense is their strength.
Stats (From Satsheet.com):
Lineups (From Seminoles.com)
F #15 Scott Wood (7.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg; 31 pts and 7 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 12, 2010)
F #23 Tracy Smith (17.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg; 7 pts and 8 rebs vs. Florida State, Jan. 12, 2010)
F #31 Dennis Horner (11.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg; 8 pts and 1 ast vs. Florida State, Jan. 12, 2010)
G #10 Javier Gonzalez (10.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg; 5 pts and 3 asts vs. Florida State, Jan. 12, 2010)
G #12 Farnold Degand (5.7 ppg, 2.5 apg; 13 pts and 2 asts vs. Florida State, Jan. 12, 2010)
F #31 Chris Singleton (10.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg; Averaged 9.0 ppg and 5.0 rpg in 2009 ACC Tourn)
F #42 Ryan Reid (6.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg; Averaged 4.0 pts and 2.7 rpg in the 2009 ACC Tourn)
C #32 Solomon Alabi (11.6 ppg, 2.3 bpg; Averaged 11.6 ppg and 5.3 rpg in 2009 ACC Tourn)
G #21 Michael Snaer (8.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg; First career ACC Tournament)
G #22 Derwin Kitchen (8.3 ppg, 3.9 apg; Averaged 6.3 ppg and 6.0 rpg in the 2009 ACC Tourn)
Keys to the Game:
1. Get out to a good start. Duke came out slow. VTech came out slow. Do not give NC State any confidence.
2. Work the shot clock to get good shots early. Get good looks and make them count. This is going to be possession basketball. Do not waste any opportunities. Wear NC State down; they played late last night, take advantage of fresh legs.
3. No surprises. Don't let Scott Wood put up 31 points on you. No surprise heroes on the night.
4. Play to their weakness. The don't rebound well on the defensive glass. They allow a lot of steals. Hopefully the Noles will turn those steals into easy points in transition.
5. Great guard play. NC State is one of the bigger teams in the conference. Snaer, Dulkys, Kitchen and Loucks need to have a good game. Javier Gonzalez, NC State's point guard, is only 5'11. Don't make silly mistakes. NC State does not generate a lot of turnovers, so don't give them any advantage.
6. Do what you do well. If NC State doesn't shoot the ball well, they're in trouble. Florida State is one of the best teams in the country at defending shots, particularly in the paint. Focus on your strengths and play your game plan, not theirs.
Prediction: Seminoles 67 NC State 60
Game Time: 9pm EST
Random Fact From Seminoles.com:
2009-10 FLORIDA STATE MEN'S BASKETBALL HONORS
Solomon Alabi All-ACC Third Team
ACC All-Defensive Team (ACSMA)
ACC All-Defensive team (Coaches / ACC Handbook)
Chris Singleton ACC Defensive Player of the Year
All-ACC Third Team
ACC All-Defensive Team (Coaches / ACC Handbook)
MVP Old Spice Classic (Florida State won team championship)
Michael Snaer ACC All-Rookie Team
ACC Rookie of the Week (Feb. 15)