FSU at Wake Forest preview and game thread

DURHAM, NC - JANUARY 21: Coach Leonard Hamilton of the Florida State Seminoles lobbies for an over the back call against the Duke Blue Devils during play at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 21, 2012 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

FSU takes to the road for the 2nd straight game, looking to maintain their place atop the ACC. They face the improved Wake Forest Demon Deacons (11-8, 2-3). If you missed our conversation with the best Wake Forest blog on the web, make sure you scan down the front page and read that. Also, they posted a Q&A with Tomahawk Nation at their site.

The Seminoles revamped offense has been the story of late. FSU is 2nd in offensive efficiency in conference-only games (yes, including the Clemson game), and are looking for their 4th straight game scoring more than a point per possession. The Noles haven't scored at that rate in 4-consecutive conference games in three years. The offense is due to a 3-guard attack which the Noles have been refining. The spacing* has been solid, and the offense has flowed because of it.

[*spacing. I've been talking about it for two weeks but have yet to diagram exactly what I mean. So I made a video from an inbounds play vs Duke which contains examples of both good and bad spacing, and analyzed it. Check it out. You'll even see Leonard Hamilton doing his best Obi Wan Kenobi impression.]

Last season Wake Forest had both the worst offense and the worst defense in the conference. This year they've improved to 10th in both. They have a pair of offensive stars who get little or no help. 6'7 Sophomore Travis Mckie plays 87% of Wake's minutes and is averaging 17.2 points and 6.7 rebounds a game. He's a threat from deep (37.5%) and can score in a number of ways inside. He's joined by 6'3 junior C.J. Harris who is having a breakout season. Harris is making half his 2s, 48% of his 3s and 80% of his FTs (and he gets to the line 70% more than any FSU player). Harris averages 17.3 a game.

On defense Wake is plagued by the classic possession shortage. They don't take away other team's possessions (233rd at forcing turnovers) while they simultaneously allow opponents to extend those possessions (208th in defensive rebounding). Their main strength is that they block 14% of opponents shots, largely due to twin 7-footers Carson Desrosiers and Ty Walker. Walker missed the fall semester and since his return each player has been averaging right about 20 minutes.

The game tips at 7pm from Winston-Salem and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Florida. FSU is an 8-point favorite in Vegas, and Pomeroy has the Noles -11.

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