By the time FSU tips tonight, 33 ACC games will have been played. Everyone but the Seminoles have played at least once. North Carolina and Louisville have played four times. The ‘Noles are late to the party and now only have one tune up before facing Indiana in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
North Florida (0-3) shouldn’t give the ‘Noles too much trouble. In the past few years head coach Matthew Driscoll has kept the Osprey near the top of the Atlantic Sun through experienced and competent point guard play. But Ivan Gandia-Rosa, who started every game at point for the past three years, is gone. And they haven’t found a replacement. Entering the Tucker Center as an overwhelmed team with point guard issues isn’t ideal, and if FSU is sharp at all on defense this will be a rout.
But there is reason to question whether they will be sharp. This is the first game of the year for Florida State, vs. game four for North Florida. And reports from camp have been that FSU is working a lot more on offense than in typical pre-seasons, and the defense may suffer.
The Osprey offense does one thing well. They hunt 3s, and have a bunch of quick hitters to get 3s early in the shot clock, including after made buckets. Once you get them into the half court, they run mostly a 4-1 set, and have a number of guys who can post up. Since FSU will likely switch everything defensively, expect to see a lot of screen and replace as the Osprey try to generate favorable matchups down low.
Through three games 49% of their shots have been 3s, with 6-7 junior Carter Hendricksen hitting 37% on nearly 12 attempts a game. Aside from that, they’ve turned it over on 27% of their possessions, and aren’t particularly effective in half court sets.
Defensively, they’ve mostly run a junky 1-3-1 zone. This will give the new players - who perhaps have never faced this defense - a chance to execute a game plan.
The game tips at 8 PM from the Donald L. Tucker Center and will be broadcast on the ACC Network. FSU opened as a 25.5 point favorite.