Florida State 2009 NCAA Tournament Preview
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Florida State Seminoles - Atlantic Coast Conference (25-9, 10-6)
Seed: #5 - East Region
Big Wins: 11/29 vs California (80-77), 2/7 at Clemson (65-61), 3/14 vs North Carolina (73-70)
Bad Losses: 12/3 at Northwestern (59-73), 1/21 at Miami (69-75), 2/24 at Boston College (67-72)
Last NCAA Appearance: 1998, Second Round loss to Valparaiso
Coach: Leonard Hamilton (3-3 in 3 NCAA appearances)
Probable Florida State Starters:
Derwin Kitchen, Sophomore, Guard, 8.0 ppg, 2.6 apg, 4.4 rpg
Toney Douglas, Senior, Guard, 21.3 ppg, 3.0 apg, 3.9 rpg
Chris Singleton, Freshman, Forward, 7.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Uche Echefu, Senior, Forward, 8.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg
Solomon Alabi, Freshman, Center, 8.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.2 bpg
Key Florida State Roleplayers:
Jordan DeMercy, Sophomore, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 1.7 apg
Deividas Dulkys, Freshman, Guard, 3.8 ppg
Luke Loucks, Freshman, Guard, 3.2 ppg, 2.1 apg
Ryan Reid, Junior, Forward, 5.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg
Why The Seminoles Can Surprise:
Florida State is not a great offensive team and it has taken a superb effort on the defensive end to win as many games as they have. It all starts under the basket with Solomon Alabi and Chris Singleton. Both are superb shot blockers and it is nearly impossible for the opposition to get an easy bucket when those two are on the floor. Alabi, a 7-1 freshman, is the traditional big man. He has already developed into a decent scoring threat, but he makes his biggest impact on the other side of the floor. Singleton, also a freshman, is a superb athlete who will use his athleticism to block shots and get to the basket.
Uche Echefu will likely start up front next to Alabi, while Singleton mans the small forward spot. Echefu is not a bad defender, but most of the shot blocking will be done by Alabi and Singleton. Instead, Echefu is a versatile scorer who will use his outside shooting ability to stretch the opposing defense. Ryan Reid and Jordan DeMercy both have plenty of starting experience and add a lot of quality depth to the Florida State frontcourt.
Why The Seminoles Can Disappoint:
The Seminoles were hoping that guards Derwin Kitchen or Luke Loucks could handle the point guard duties so super scorer Toney Douglas could move off the ball. However, turnovers have been a huge problem and it really has not worked out that way. Loucks has the best assist-to-turnover ratio of the bunch, but Kitchen is a better scorer. All of them will have the ball in their hands at some point and the important thing is to keep the turnovers down. Otherwise it will be a short postseason for the Seminoles.
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Who To Watch:
And FSU still hopes that Kitchen and Loucks can handle the point because they really need Douglas to concentrate on scoring. He is the only player on the team who averages more than nine points per game. Douglas is not only the team’s best scorer with 21.3 points per game, but he also leads the team in assists and steals and has tallied 3.9 rebounds per contest. It is imperative that Douglas scores, but he cannot do it all by himself. Douglas scored 32 points in a loss to North Carolina and 30 points in a loss at Miami, so while it is nice when puts up 30 or more points, this is a team that needs to play as a team and not always completely depend on Douglas.
Florida State By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.6 (156th in nation, 12th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 64.5 (95, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.0 (209, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.6 (9, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.2 (172, 7)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.7 (175, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.5 (56, 5)
Rebound Margin: 0.7 (166, 11)
Assists Per Game: 12.3 (224, 12)
Turnovers Per Game: 15.7 (283, 10)
Joel’s Bracket Says: Second Round loss to Xavier
By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Senior Basketball Writer
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