Let's be honest, The Citadel (2-2) is not a good team. Last year's horrific injury luck led to a 7-26 season, and now most of those players are back and healthy, but this is still a mid-tier Southern Conference team. In other words, it is what most of the nation has been playing while FSU (1-3) has been struggling with three straight top-75 teams.
Yes, they are a Division I team, so they have players who can hurt FSU. Senior guard Ashton Moore is a 37% career 3-pt shooter and is averaging 17.5 ppg this season. The Noles need to track him. Their center, another senior in PJ Horgan, is averaging 15.0 per game. But even with those two they were swept in the All Military Classic to open the year, and then picked up two wins vs non D1 teams.
FSU should handle these guys. A loss will be a disaster.
The more important question is HOW will the Noles beat these guys? Aaron Thomas will miss the game while he is being evaluated for his dizziness during the UMass game. Devon Bookert will miss the game with his foot injury. Kiel Turpin is gimpy. Robbie Berwick will play with a broken nose.
The banged up Noles have to turn to freshman Xavier Rathan-Mayes to run the team. And the team has to figure out how to score with zero reliable outside shooters. Our offense - like most modern offenses - relies heavily on high ball screens, and high ball screens lose much of their effectiveness when neither the ball handler nor the screener can knock down a jumper. So if AT and Book are going to be out for the long haul, tonight we get a preview of how FSU's offense will operate moving forward.
The Noles should win by a double digit figure, but the game still has plenty to offer. The Noles are banged up. They are without two leaders. And there are 27 games to go.
The tip is at 7pm from the Tuck and will be broadcast on ESPN3. FSU is favored by 22.