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No. 19 FSU basketball vs. South Florida: Preview, how-to-watch, Vegas line, game thread

The ‘Noles head south to the Orange Bowl Classic

NCAA Basketball: South Florida at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 19 Seminoles (9-2) basketball team gets one more shot to make an impression before Christmas. It comes against South Florida (6-5) in the annual Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, FL. As we talked about in the latest podcast (APPLE // SPOTIFY) they’re coached by Brian Gregory, who will have scouting reports on Ham’s teams from his Georgia Tech days.

Players to watch

David Collins (6-4, 218) is a handful. He’s a big guard who plays downhill and draws close to seven fouls a game. If FSU struggled to keep UNF out of the paint on dribble drives, then Collins is going to be even more of a problem. He leads USF at 15.3 ppg, though he hasn’t been great from outside (31%).

Point guard Laquincy Rideau (6-1, 205) is built like a running back, and like Collins, is constantly looking to attack off the dribble. He’s also a defensive terror, and is in the top-10 nationally in steal%.

South Florida has a trio of bigs they rotate throughout the game. Michael Durr (7-0, 250) is the best of the bunch, though his post game is minimal. He does most of his damage off of offensive boards and lobs. Antun Maricevic (6-10, 260) is his primary back up.

Keep your eye on the ball

Florida State is the 9th best team nationally at forcing turnovers. USF is even better (5th). The Bulls rarely press like the ‘Noles, but they do play a similar pressure defense in the half court, staying up the line one pass away in hopes of deflections.

Another tale-of-two-teams is that South Florida gets their shots blocked at the 5th lowest rate in the nation, while FSU is 16th blocking shots. The ‘Noles will have to figure out a way to bother the Bulls with their length.

Who will win?

Ken Pomeroy FSU 84%

Vegas line FSU -10

How to watch

Fox Sports 2 at high noon, from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL