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MBB Game 25: FSU 63 at Wake 86

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Tuesday night, the Noles took care of business, defeating Virginia 68-57 at home. Tonight, the Noles head north to take on the Wake Forest Deamon Deacons.

This afternoon is another marquee game for the Seminoles, who currently sit tied for third in the ACC.

Take a look inside for the game preview and game thread.

N.B: Ouch. Next time...next time.

Once again, thanks to Martin and the folks at Blogger So Dear for taking part in this weeks version of The Conversation. Check out their site for my half of the discussion.

After the Virginia win, Toney Douglas said the following: "In the ACC, any team can beat you on any given night if you don’t bring it. So it’s a ‘W’ in the win column. So we’re 6-3. And we need more ‘Ws’ than Ls.’” At this point in the ACC schedule, I'll take a victory, even if it isn't pretty. After trailing 22-20 at the half, giving up a huge rebounding advantage, the Noles rallied to collect their 6th victory in ACC play, and off to their best start in the ACC since 1992. However, Hamilton recognizes that the Noles will not win in Winston Salem tonight if improve their play: "We’re pleased with where we are. But we realize that in order to go into Winston-Salem on Saturday and come away with a victory, we’re going to have to play better than we did tonight.” The Noles have played to the level of their competition all year. Or, have they forced their competition to play to their level? The Seminoles have forced some of the best teams in the country to their worst offensive outings of the year. We have squeaked by in a few games against weaker competition.

As you can see, our points for and points against follow our opponents or vice versa. We have played relatively close games all year. Compare that to...UNC lets say.

They win their games, in general by a lot of points. But I find it interesting that our average scoring margin has remained relatively steady through out the year, regardless of who our competition is. UNC has seen there's decrease. My point is that we play close games and I think it derives from our ability to force teams to play our style of game.

Now a couple of thoughts about tonight's match up. It will be brief as you can learn a lot about this game in our conversation with Blogger So Dear. But I wanted to focus on a couple of things.

I have frequently referred to how tall a team we are. Well, so is Wake. I have also mentioned Ken Pomeroy's article about the impact of height on a game. He feels that height has the greatest impact on Block Percentage, 2-pt% defense, eFG% defense and adjusted defensive efficiency. How do these two teams match up in those categories:

I wish I could get the last two categories in chart form, but statsheet.com isn't cooperating. Clearly, these are individual data points against different opponents, but the numbers are relatively similar. Let's take a look at the Pomeroy numbers for Wake:

 Offense Defense
Raw Efficiency : 107.4 ( 70) 90.0 ( 11)
Adj Efficiency : 109.4 ( 59) 87.2 ( 8)

Effective FG% : 52.6 ( 56) 42.9 ( 4)
Turnover Pct. : 20.4 (173) 21.6 (119)
Off. Rebound% : 34.6 (118) 31.1 ( 99)
Free Throw Rate: 44.2 ( 24) 35.0 (141)

3-Point FG% : 32.8 (209) 28.7 ( 6)
2-Point FG% : 53.4 ( 20) 42.8 ( 27)
Free Throw Pct.: 70.2 (118) 68.7 (175)
Block Pct. : 7.8 (103) 14.9 ( 12)
Steal Pct. : 10.0 (189) 12.0 ( 40)

3PA/FGA : 20.8 (342) 35.7 (261)
A/FGM : 47.5 (308) 46.9 ( 22)

Our Numbers:

 Offense Defense
Raw Efficiency : 99.5 (200) 91.4 ( 19)
Adj Efficiency : 102.6 (139) 87.4 ( 9)

Effective FG% : 48.4 (187) 43.5 ( 12)
Turnover Pct. : 23.3 (292) 23.7 ( 31)
Off. Rebound% : 36.7 ( 54) 36.1 (286)
Free Throw Rate: 42.0 ( 46) 34.5 (131)

3-Point FG% : 33.3 (198) 31.2 ( 39)
2-Point FG% : 47.7 (181) 41.7 ( 15)
Free Throw Pct.: 70.7 (101) 66.9 ( 85)
Block Pct. : 7.3 ( 69) 16.3 ( 8)
Steal Pct. : 10.4 (228) 13.3 ( 13)

3PA/FGA : 33.5 (152) 35.6 (259)
A/FGM : 53.3 (192) 46.1 ( 17)

Eerily similar in the categories I mentioned above. Wake is a great basketball team and don't think that they can't turn things around in a heart beat and hand it to us. This is going to be a big, physical game to watch. We have to keep them out of the paint and force them to shoot the long ball. Wake is not comfortable playing in the half court set for extended periods of time. They like to get the ball inside and let their big men work the basket and the glass. Solomon and Uche have to step up, once again, and have monster games.

Here are the likely starter:

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR FLORIDA STATE
F #31 Chris Singleton (8.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg; First career game vs. Wake Forest)
F #41 Uche Echefu (8.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg; 13 pts and 11 rebs vs. Wake Forest, Jan. 27, 2007)
C #32 Solomon Alabi (8.0 ppg, 2.1 bpg; First career game vs. Wake Forest)
G #22 Derwin Kitchen (6.9 ppg, 2.1 apg; First career game vs. Wake Forest)
G #23 Toney Douglas (20.3 ppg, 2.0 spg; 28 pts and 2 stls vs. Wake Forest, Feb. 14, 2008)

PROBABLE STARTERS FOR WAKE FOREST
F #1 Al-Farouq Aminu (13.2 ppg, 8.5 rpg; First game vs. Florida State)
F #12 James Johnson (13.4 ppg, 8.0 rpg; 26 pts and 9 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 14, 2008)
C #13 Chas McFarland (9.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg; 9 pts and 8 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 14, 2008)
G #00 Jeff Teague (20.9, 3.8 apg; 15 pts and 3 asts vs. Florida State, March 13, 2008)
G #42 L.D. Williams (8.7 ppg, 2.7 rpg; 6 pts and 4 rebs vs. Florida State, Feb. 14, 2008)

Look for an incredible match up between Aminu and Singleton, two of the best freshman recruits in the country. Aminu is have a big year, shooting the ball extremely well and eating up the glass, particularly on the defensive end. It has been mentioned previously, we need to crash the glass. Johnson, Aminu and McFardland are some of the best rebounders in the country. McFarland is a 7'0 Jr. Solomon, you have you're work cut out for you big fella.

The game will be televised on RayCom Sports. Click here for the affiliates. Hopefully you can find it a justin.tv. Currently, there is no link posted on atdhe.net Sirius XM users, tune to channel 190. Seminoles.com also has a list of listening and viewing sites.

This is going to be a close one. I think Wake returns to their previous excellence and wins a close one at home. I am hopeful as this would be another huge win for us. Toney needs to lead the way and we need to limit our mistakes and clean up the glass. Be patient on defense and don't get into foul trouble. Force Wake outside.

Go NOLES!