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Florida State basketball: South Florida preview

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FSU heads south for the Orange Bowl Classic

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

It's only one game, but in Wednesday's rout of North Florida we have seen an identity emerging for Florida State. The Seminoles were able to practice and prepare for a game knowing that Aaron Thomas was gone for good. On the court that meant there was no star, there were only role players, but if everyone could star at their role then this team could find some success.

In a perfect world, playing without AT will cause the team to coalesce into a group who work to find opportunities for their teammates. They have to get out in transition. They have to make the defense move. The bigs have to keep players occupied down low. Devon Bookert, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, and Robbie Berwick have to keep the perimeter defense honest. And most of all they have to figure out how to defend as a team. Stopping your man doesn't mean a thing if someone else's man scores.

Today's opponent - South Florida - is another team struggling to find an identity. They began the season 5-1 but have since dropped four straight. First year head coach Orlando Antigua spent years working for John Calipari and now he's trying to impart some of that success on a new group of players.

They have a pair of tiny, skilled guards. Corey Allen Jr. (6-1, 150) is flourishing with his new coach. He's averaging 15.2 per game, knocking down 40% of his 3s, and he generates a steal on 3% of their possessions. Anthony Collins (6-1, 175) is averaging 8.2 points and 6.6 assists.

Down low it is sophomore Chris Perry (6-8, 240). He's dropped a lot of weight but has maintained his strength, and he uses it well to score more than 13 per game and grab 7.1 boards.

Like North Florida, the Bulls shouldn't be afraid to run with FSU, so this should be another high possession, high scoring game. The Bulls will mix a man and zone defenses, and they do a good job keeping teams off the line. Offensively, they are not a good 3-point shooting team, but rather use the dribble drive to get opportunities near the rim. Only two teams in the nation score a higher percentage of their points from inside the arc.

The game tips at 2 pm from Sunrise, FL and will be broadcast on Fox Sports South. Pomeroy has FSU as 5-point favorites.