Transfers have become a major part of roster building, and FSU has been on both ends recently. They lost CJ Walker and Ike Obiagu but gained Malik Osborne and Dominik Olejniczak. While this turmoil can be upsetting for fans, we have to remember that as a high major program we’re only seeing a sliver of the impact. It’s mid-majors that have to adapt most often on the fly, and Chattanooga is pretty much the picture of the new model.
In head coach Lamont Paris’s 3rd season, he might still be learning a few names. Last year he had one player return from his first year on the job. After last season he lost three more transfers to bigger programs (plus two assistant coaches). Though after his first year, a roster with a few familiar faces probably counts as continuity.
Plus he’s been active on the other end of the transfer spectrum - landing high major players who want a bigger role.
Players to watch
Some fans may remember Matt Ryan coming off the very end of Notre Dame’s bench and scoring 11 points on five shots to knock FSU out of the 2017 ACC Tournament. After that he transferred into the mess at Vanderbilt, and now he’s in Chattanooga. The 6-7 senior (and former 4* recruit) is averaging 13.0 points and 5.0 boards.
While much of the rest of the roster are transfers, 6-1 junior David Jean-Baptiste has stuck with the program since Paris (a former Wisconsin assistant) took over. Now he leads the team in scoring at 14.0 per game, and he’s made half his 3s.
As expected from a Wisconsin disciple, the Mocs play slow, take a lot of 3s, and get to the line. They aren’t with Western Carolina in 3-point strategy, but they do attempt more than 40% of their shots from beyond the arc.
They also force a lot of turnovers, so this should be a good test for the FSU offense.
Who will win
Ken Pomeroy FSU 98%
T-Rank FSU 96%
Vegas line FSU -21
How to watch
Fox Sports regional coverage, 6:30 ET