If you’ve been following the forums, you’ll know that the season for the winless FSU basketball team is pretty much over. Hopefully something better can happen next year. Why they are bothering to travel to face the No. 6 Florida Gators is beyond me, but they’re going, so I have to write a preview.
Players to watch
Senior Kerry Blackshear was the most coveted player on last year’s transfer market, and the only two places he really considered were UF and the NBA. UF won. The pay is better. The 6-10 post player is familiar to FSU from his Virginia Tech days, where he had some solid games vs FSU, but nothing spectacular. In UF’s opener vs North Florida he was the MVP, finishing with 20 points and 10 boards.
Sophomore Andrew Nembhard is a 5* who also spurned the NBA to return to college. He’s been a solid point guard whose strength has been setting up his teammates rather than being an efficient scorer.
Freshman Scottie Lewis is currently a lottery pick in the 2020 NBA mock draft at ESPN. He had a quiet opening game (9 points), though at 6-5 he is extremely explosive, has the tools to be an elite defender, and is a consistent jump shot away from stardom.
He came in with another 5* recruit in 6-4 guard Tre Mann. Along with Nembhard, this gives the Gators two point guards on the floor.
These four combine with sophomores Noah Locke and Keyontae Johnson to give UF a small but dynamic lineup. The starters are listed at 6-3, 6-4, 6-5, 6-5, 6-10. Their top-7 players are all blue chip recruits.
Until conference play begins (again), this will be the best defense FSU will play. Mike White’s teams are always borderline elite on the defensive end, but their offense has kept them from reaching their potential. But he may have enough elite talent this year for that to change.
FSU will need to win the offensive board battle, as they likely won’t be able to score enough without second chances.
Player most likely to sweat more than RaiQuan Gray
Freshman Jason Jitoboh is a large man from Nigeria. He’s listed a 7-0, 300. We’re hoping Dominik Olejniczak will be available for FSU. If he is, UF may have to give Jitoboh some burn in order to keep Blackshear fresh.
How to watch
ESPN, 1 PM
Who will win
Ken Pomeroy FSU 36%
T-Rank FSU 14%
Opened at UF -6