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FSU basketball: Virginia Tech preview

From here until March it is ACC play. The Noles open at home vs Virginia Tech

Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

After an unfocused performance on the road at Mississippi State, FSU now returns home to ACC play. Up first is Virginia Tech (8-6, 0-1) and new head coach Buzz Williams. The Hokies hosted Syracuse this weekend, nearly pulling the upset before falling 68-66. And the Hokies did that one day after learning that Joey Van Zegeren - their leading rebounder and 3rd leading scorer - had been suspended indefinitely for "lack of discipline and self-control at practice." Coach Williams hasn't added any more detail about what the 6-10 junior did, but he has stated that Van Zegeren will not be with the team for tonight's game.

In his absence the Hokies went small against Syracuse, and they'll do the same vs Florida State. Two players over 6-5 will get meaningful minutes. It will be on FSU to go with a smaller lineup to try and avoid mismatches, or to go big to create them.

The Hokies are led by 6-5 freshman Justin Bibbs, a 4* recruit from Montverde Academy (where FSU signee Jean Marc Christ Koumadje plays). Bibbs is averaging 12.7 per game and had 22 points and 11 boards against Syracuse. He's made 48% of his 3s on the year. Junior Adam Smith, a transfer from UNC Wilmington who missed much of last year with injuries, is scoring 11.9 per game, and he knocks down 3s at a 43% clip. The team as a whole has made 41%, which is 9th nationally. But they don't attempt that many. Buzz's teams are never overly reliant on the long ball, and this team is no different, coming in at 266th in attempts. It seems likely that they'll put up a few more without Van Zegeren to go to down low.

Ahmed Hill,  a 6-4 top 100 recruit who chose Marquette over Florida State (then followed Williams), is now their 3rd leading scorer. Hill can score from all over.

Aside from shooting really well, the Hokies offense hasn't done anything special. They aren't good on the offensive glass (and are terrible on the other end). They turn the ball over. And they're only average at getting to the line.

Defensively the Hokies have been competent, but they surrender way too many extra possessions. They are 331st in defensive rebounding, and this is an area where FSU should be able to exploit them. Expect Phil Cofer and Montay Brandon to each have some putbacks.

This is an important game for FSU. Virginia Tech is one of the weaker teams in the conference, and FSU gets them at home. It will be interesting to see how they respond after a poor effort versus Mississippi State.

The game tips at 7pm from the Tuck and will be broadcast on Fox Sports South. Pomeroy has FSU favored by 7, and the line is currently -10 in Vegas.