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FSU basketball faces Nicholls State

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The game tips tonight at 9 from the Tuck

NCAA Basketball: Southern Mississippi at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the “we’re three days away from hosting the Gators” game. Nicholls State (4-4) is in town, and it shouldn’t take long to figure out if the FSU players are looking ahead.

This team is better than the Southern Miss squad that Florida State just destroyed. In fact, they’ve already won on the road against an ACC team (okay, it was at Boston College, but still). And they could have been even better. When FSU signed up to play them it appeared that first year head coach Richie Riley might have a team that could compete for the top of the Southland Conference. They had landed the former and much travelled 5* Maryland/South Florida transfer in Roddy Peters, but he was not granted immediate eligibility. Nor was Tevon Saddler, who had been All Conference at UNC Greensboro.

Still, Riley added a bunch of new talent and the team is clearly a step up from the Nicholls State team that lost to FSU by 47 last season on their way to getting head coach JP Piper fired.

This year’s team is highlighted by seniors Ja’Dante Frye and Johnathan Bell, and junior transfer DeAndre Harris. The trio of smallish guards is averaging nearly 44 points a game.

Whatever Nicholls State does, FSU should still be able to blow them out. And that’s what we are looking for. Against an overmatched opponent, with the nationally ranked Gators coming to town, will the ‘Noles be able to focus?

The game tips at 9 PM (great for attendance!) and will be broadcast on ESPNU. With Jonathan Isaac listed as doubtful, and Phil Cofer out, FSU is favored by 28.