FSU vs North Florida preview and game thread

Terrance Shannon enjoys rebounding - Alex Trautwig

Fresh off their tournament win in the Coaches vs Cancer, the Noles now begin a lengthy streak of games at home

Years ago I remember telling my mother that I couldn't make it home until noon on Thanksgiving day because I had to stay in Tallahassee to watch the Noles take on some scrub opponent at the Tuck. That night there were maybe 300 people in attendance, but the seat police weren't so strict in those days so about 5 minutes into the game we moved down to front row, center. It was like having our own private game to watch.

Tonight, some students (bless them) will be in the same boat - watching a team they obsess over before heading home for the Holidays. Except that they won't have the best seats in the house (should have been born earlier, son). The rest of us will be watching on t.v. And since the Tuck has ridiculous seating policies, the place will look entirely empty. So it goes.

But hey, if you do show up:

The opponent is the North Florida Ospreys (hey! A bird mascot that's not a hawk or eagle - and before you say that an osprey is the same thing, you should know that ospreys are not only the single species in their genus, but the only species in their entire family. #TheMoreYouKnow). North Florida is 1-3, but like most lower level mid-majors, they've played a really tough schedule. They have losses to Kansas State and Memphis, and still have FSU, Minnesota and Pitt on their schedule.

This is coach Matthew Driscoll's fourth season, and for the 2nd straight year he's got a team which has traditionally been a bottom feeder, and now they'll probably finish in the upper half of the A-Sun. Still, this is a team which the Noles should handle.

Any danger from an upset comes from two things - their style, and Parker Smith. First, they take a lot of threes. Over 42% of their shot attempts have been threes, and they score more via the three than all but 4 of 437 Division I schools. Second, they have a senior named Parker Smith who is one of the best 3-point shooters in the nation. He's made 57% of his attempts this year (7.5 treys attempted per game) and 39.3% for his career. Last year he dropped 46 on Mercer and was 11-17 from beyond the arc.

For the Noles, it will be more of the same. Reps. This team is still figuring out where they're supposed to be on offense and defense, and the only way to get there is reps. One thing to keep an eye on is the minutes distributed between Kiel Turpin and Boris Bojanovsky. Ham has been taking long looks at how Bojo plays with the other four starters, and so far that rotation has looked great.

The game tips from the Tuck at 7 pm and will be broadcast on Fox Sports South (see link below to determine your channel) and ESPN3. Pomeroy has the Noles as a 15 point favorite.

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