FSU at Virginia Tech preview and game thread

It's been 363 days and nothing has changed. A year ago, in a four game stretch, Florida State lost to Butler, and then lost 8 days later to Auburn who was one of the three worst major conference teams in the nation. After a lot of tough talk by the coaches and players FSU then went on the road to Virginia Tech and got waxed. The national media was labeling FSU a disappointment. Bracketologists had bumped the Noles to the wrong side of the bubble, and the fans had given up.

Here is a sampling of the state of Tomahawk Nation one year ago:

hate to say it but I hope the nole bb team loses the rest of their games so our freaking lame ass excuse of an ad will finally have to make a freaking decision to do something …anything… - cdnole

methinks this is almost past the point of fixable - DixieNole

Hey Hamilton

You are fired

Sie werden gefeuert

Siete licenziato

Le encienden

Vous êtes mis le feu

당신은 해고된다 - onebarrelrum

God I can't wait to read WC and see what the few remaining Hamilton nut huggers have to say.

Dopes.I guess the success will start AFTER Duke beats us by 35. - tricknole

In the next game FSU beat Duke, and the rest, as they say, was history.

Fast forward a year and nothing much has changed. FSU lost to Florida, lost to Princeton, and went on the road in ACC play and got waxed. But now instead of a home game versus Duke, it's a road game at Virginia Tech (11-4, 0-1).

Tech's season got off to a very good start with zero bad losses and two wins over Oklahoma State. Their schedule was much smarter than recent years, and at the worst they had played their way solidly onto the bubble. Then they opened ACC play at Wake Forest and lost. Now Wake has as many conference wins as they had all of last season, and the Hokies are reeling.

Virginia Tech has a very good offense (44th nationally) and have the athletes to run a motion offense with dribble-drive principles. What this means is that they spread the floor, usually with 4 players on the 3-point arc, and probe the defense for angles to drive. This is fueled by Erick Green who is the best PG in the ACC (and it's not even close). Green averages 15.7 points and 3.4 assists. He converts 53% of his 2s and 42% of his 3s. And his turnover rate is excellent. Michael Snaer will have his hands full. The other player to watch is sophomore Jarrell Eddie, who might be the most improved player in the conference. Half his shots are from beyond the arc and he makes 54% of those. Oh, and he's 6'7. Good luck closing out on him. Dorian Finney Smith, at 6'8, makes 40% of his 3s. And this is why they are so dangerous. Erick Green can get into the lane and kick to the perimeter, and because their shooters are so big it's almost impossible to pressure them on close outs.

Defensively Tech is solid (60th). They're the 3rd best 3-pt defense in the nation. What they don't do well is force turnovers (234th) or keep teams off the offensive glass (209th). What this means is that FSU is going to spread out the Virginia Tech defense and figure out a way to attack off the dribble. Then three guys need to crash the weakside glass while a defender gets back to guard against the break. This is exactly what FSU did in when they rolled Auburn, and exactly what they failed to do against Clemson.

The game tips at 7pm on ESPNU. Vegas has the Hokies -4.5, and Pomeroy has the Hokies -5.

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