Welcome to the game that FSU should not be playing. The RPI system used to evaluate NCAA tournament teams is dumb, we all know this. But that doesn’t change the fact that everyone is competing under the same system. One of the beauties of the system is that it is relatively simple to manipulate in order to make your team look better than they actually are. And rule No. 1 for that manipulation is never ever ever play terrible teams from terrible conferences at home.
Enter Kennesaw State.
Before conference realignment days, the Atlantic Sun was a pretty decent place to call home. Belmont. Mercer. East Tennessee. Northern Kentucky. These were solid programs who are all now gone.
Now kenpom.com projects the A-Sun as 29th of 32 conferences. And Kennesaw State could easily finish in last place.
If you are looking for hope that they won’t quite be that bad, the Owls (1-3) have yet to lose a game by 20. That’s a start. Maybe this is their year!
Their one win doesn’t impact their RPI at all, as it was over lower division Piedmont College.
The Owls are coached by longtime Boston College head man Al Skinner. Now he is in year three at Kennesaw State.
His best player is 6-6 senior Nick Masterson, who shot an otherworldly 53% from deep last year. His most explosive player is 6-5 sophomore James Scott, who flashed his potential with a 33-point game last year vs Stetson. So far this year he’s attempted 42% of Kennsaw State’s shots when he’s on the floor.
Outside of Masterson, this is not a good shooting team. They are 338th in eFG%, and FSU should be able to shut them down.
Defensively, they aren’t much better.
Florida State will be 4-0 after this game. Pomeroy has KSU at 304th nationally, and Leonard Hamilton has never lost to a team rated this low.
The interesting thing to watch will be how FSU approaches this game. They’ve faced three solid opponents, and the coaches should have a laundry list of things to work on. The positive thing about games like this is that it allows the team to work on specific aspects of the offense and defense in the relative comfort of what should be an easy win. Plus there will be lots of dunking.
The game tips at 2 PM from the Tuck and will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra (which I believe means ESPN3 only).