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No. 11 FSU basketball vs. Southeast Missouri St.: how to watch, preview, and game thread

Welcome back, Mr. Cofer!

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional Practice Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

After eight days off for finals, the FSU men’s basketball team returns to the hardwood to square off against Southeast Missouri State. Ranked 11th in the country, the Seminoles are 26 point favorites over Redhawks from Cape Girardeau—which is noteworthy since SEMO, while only 5-6, has just one loss by greater than 12 points.

How to Watch?

If you live in Tallahassee, or anywhere nearby, GO TO THE GAME! This team is good, they play a fun brand of basketball, and the guys are great representatives of the university.

For folks who aren’t able to make it out to the Tucker Center, the only way that I’ve seen to watch the game is on ACC Network, which right now seems to be only accessible on Watch ESPN or Sling.

The game tips off at 7:00pm Eastern.

What to Expect?

The Redhawks are a small-ish team that likes to take a lot of threes. In fact, they’ve taken 70 three-point attempts in the last two games. Unfortunately, they only make them at a 32.5% clip—though junior guard Skylar Hogan is 18-42 on the season, so we will certainly want to guard him. On top of that, they are 343rd (out of 353) in FTA/FGA and when they do get to the stripe they shoot just 66.4%. Not hard to see why they’re the 294th offense in the country.

One area where they do excel is defensive rebounding, ranking 50th in country at keeping opponents off the offensive glass.

The reality is, FSU wins this game 98-99% of the time it’s played. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a meaningless game. Here’s three things I’ll be keeping an eye on:

  1. In case you haven’t heard, Phil Cofer is expected to see his first action of the season. Our own Michael Rogner did a great write-up on what that potentially means for FSU, but it will be interesting to see how slowly the coaching staff brings him along. Eight minutes? 10? 15? And who does he see time with? Could we see Cofer and Gray on the court at the same time?
  2. Can FSU start to reduce their turnovers? To this point in the season, a brutally high turnover rate is the only thing keeping the Seminole offense from being elite. Now, it’s true that FSU has faced a tough schedule, and they’ve done so without the player who turned the ball over the least last season. Still, the turnovers have been alarming and it would be nice to see a game with less than a 20% TO rate.
  3. RUTS. That’s right, time to do our best Steve Spurrier and run up the score. Now, before you think I’ve got some deep seated hatred for all things SEMO, please know that’s not true. I hope our friends from Mizzou enjoy their time in Tallahassee. Unfortunately, the NCAA has backed teams like FSU into a sadistic corner. You see, their new NET ranking tool does in fact have a 10-point cap on margin of victory. However, the insistence on using raw efficiency margins essentially renders that MOV cap moot, because raw efficiency margins are basically a different way of measuring margin of victory (read more about NET here). This is why a team like NC State, which has played the 350th hardest schedule in the country according to KenPom, is ranked 17th in NET versus 137th in the RPI. Because the Wolfpack have been crushing their cupcakes. In order for FSU to start moving up in NET, they need to dominate the weaker teams on their schedule.