FSU vs Mercer preview and game thread

Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE

FSU looks to right the ship after a home loss to Minnesota

For years FSU fans have been clamoring for more offense, even at the expense of defense. Now that team has arrived. They've been equal parts inspiring and frustrating, and today they need a win to regain some of their confidence.

The Seminoles are coming off their worst defensive performance in over two seasons. They allowed 1.22 points per possession against a good Gophers team - a performance which completely negated a solid offensive game. Minnesota has played nine games, and their only opponent which scored more per possession was Duke.

Now the Noles face Mercer (3-4), who was the preseason favorite to win the Atlantic Sun. The Bears won last season's CIT Tournament, and then returned four starters and several key backups. But Mercer's depth hasn't worked in their favor, and Coach Hoffman has struggled with lineups. In turn, the team has struggled offensively (189th), though their defense has been solid (92nd). The only player scoring in double figures is senior guard Travis Smith (11.7 per game).

To stay in this game Mercer will limit possessions and try and create live ball turnovers for easy buckets. They're 22nd nationally in forcing turnovers, and use them to kick start their offense. Unlike South Alabama, they're not a team which can hit an inordinate amount of threes. They haven't had a game where they made 50%, so barring a crazy anomaly, if FSU can take care of the ball, they should win handily.

The game tips at 2 pm from the Tuck and will be broadcast on ESPN3. Pomeroy has the Noles as an 11 point favorite.

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