After overcoming a ridiculous 3-point barrage and beating the Vermont Catamounts Thursday afternoon, the 4th-seeded Florida State Seminoles have begun game preparations for their next opponent, the 12th-seeded Murray State Racers. Florida State will have to face the Racers’ star player, Ja Morant, who has been the talk of the town after an exceptional triple-double effort (17 points, 16 assists, 11 rebounds) in their first round win over 5-seeded Marquette. It was just the eighth triple-double in NCAA tournament history, and the first since Draymond Green’s in 2012. The sophomore didn’t just put up top numbers against 5- seed Marquette, he has done so consistently this season. He’s 8th in the nation in scoring (24.6 ppg), and leads the nation in assists (10.0 apg, with the No. 2 guy at 7.7).
Florida State’s players spoke to the media Friday afternoon about Morant’s talent and what the team will be up against as they head into tomorrow’s 6:10 PM matchup.
On Morant’s exceptional talent:
“He is a really talented player, the film I see, the games I’ve seen and watched on TV, he’s very good at picking rolls. One thing that separates him from a lot of players is his passing ability. You know he can go off for 11 assists and the second leading scorer can have 15 points because were so focused on him, so it’s our jobs to just do what we can. There’s been a lot of great scorers that I’ve faced and that I’ve seen, but to pass it that well and to have 10 assists in any conference really is impressive. I really haven’t seen that in a while.
“He’s a good player, we’re just going try to contain him as best we can. He’s a good passer also. He likes to find his teammates. So we just try to get in the way of that, stick to our principles, and things should fall in place.”
“I I mean, what he’s been doing as a season -- as a fan, I mean, all you can do is respect it honestly. I mean, I feel from a fan’s perspective, you definitely have to respect what he did all season.”
On how Florida State can stop Morant:
“He had a triple-double, and that doesn’t happen often in college basketball. You have to figure out how you’re going to cut that down and not let him have the type of game that he had yesterday. We’re just going to use our athleticism, be lengthy, be smart on our defensive end and try to disrupt it.”
“As Terance said, it doesn’t happen when you see triple-doubles in college. Kind of what Terance said, just kind try to disrupt him as much as you can. It’s kind of hard to stop a player who likes to pass and get the ball to his teammates because you never know what he’s going to attack or pass. Probably just disrupt his rhythm is the biggest thing for us. We just have to be locked in, and it’s going to be tough stopping him because he’s such a good player.”
“They run it through transition kinda like how we like to do, so we have to do a good job of managing the ball. They are very unselfish and the ball finds the open man and they run really hard in transition, so you always have to be alert.”
See Kabengele’s full video below:
Sophomore forward Mfiondu Kabengele media availabilityPosted by TomahawkNation.com on Friday, March 22, 2019
See Nichols full interview below:
Senior guard David Nichols media availabilityPosted by TomahawkNation.com on Friday, March 22, 2019
See the full interview for Mann, Forrest, and Kabengele below: